Dad, the Ant Killer

I AM a father; my superpower is worry.

You can find me at the park, before the kids are let out of school, scouting for anthills. I’m the guy lifting the ends of empty seesaws, peeking beneath the slides. People ask me, “Did you lose something?”

Only my mind.

Six months ago, my wife and I learned that our 3-year-old son has a class III allergy to fire ants. What this meant was that, if bitten, even by a single ant, he had about a 50-50 chance of going into anaphylactic shock. The allergist described the unpredictable severity of his reaction as a light switch. “It doesn’t matter how many bite him,” he said. “If his little allergy switch is turned on that day, and his body overreacts to the venom, you’re dealing with a life-threatening situation.” To read more from M. O. WALSH, click here.