Lawd. Have. Mercy.
There are no other words.
No, wait, there is one more.
Lawd. Have. Mercy. Child.
These last few days have been the type that will leave us laughing for years to come and with a slight aversion to red gatorade. Allow me to explain.
Eric was the camp speaker at Windy Gap this past weekend. For those of you who know what that entails you know that a lot of hours, a lot of prayer, and a lot of work went into getting ready. Eric is a stud-of-a-hubby and lets me partner with him when he writes his talks, which is really fun for me. That said, being there with him this weekend was a must. A no-brainer. And was only something I second-guessed when my sweet child started projectile vomitting on Friday morning, just hours before we were supposed to leave (and by “we” I mean me and two dear friends and former young life girls - Madison and Liza, who both achieved sainthood by the end of the weekend. Eric went up Thursday night to work on his talks).
For the sake of brevity let me sum things up in the same lightning speed fashion in which it all occurred….Harper starts throwing up on the way to the dog kennel…Cota howls for seven miles straight…Harper continues to throw up….I change her clothes at the kennel resulting in vomit getting in her hair causing it to stick straight up a good 5 inches off her head….we head straight for the pediatrician…Harper continues to throw up all over the four blankets I keep in my car….we get to the doctor’s office and the only thing I have to carry my barf-laden child in is a beach towel….her hair is still sticking straight up…the nurse gives her a hospital gown with pink elephants on it and a pedialyte juice box which she squeezes so hard it sprays all over my face…classic…the doctor she says she think’s she gotten most of it “out” and that it would be fine to go to Windy Gap…we go home…I have my shivering hospital-gown-clad daughter in one arm, barf-covered blankets in the other….we walk in the house to find a nasty, oily black bird trapped in my dining room….we try and catch it with one of the throw up towels while it flaps its wings a little too close to my mohawked child…she screams…I laugh…the bird flys out one of the four windows I opened…I put my child down for a nap…pack our life into the minivan….Harper wakes up feeling all better…and Liza, Madison and I head towards Windy Gap. Big sigh.
There is much to say about the good things about the weekend. Because it was so good. But the humor of it was not wasted on me. My dear friend, Millie, whose advice I trust on everything from motherhood to how to make a j.crew-esque outfit with just a few bucks at Target, told me that if Eric and I were to get the stomach bug from Harper it would most likely not hit for 36 hours. She was right. Right down to the hour. At about midnight on Saturday night Eric launched into a violent, nasty episode of the stomach bug. It lasted through the night and he passed the nausea baton to me at around 8am that morning.
In all seriousness, God sustained Eric for the hour that he needed to prepare and deliver his talk on Sunday morning, and then he was right back to misery. Thank God that our sweet friends were there to care for Harper and drive us home. Madison drove Eric. Liza drove me. And we are forever grateful. Card-carrying saints, I’m telling you. And by the way, this weekend has inspired me to create an Anti-Bucket List. Things I NEVER want to do again before I die. Trying to throw up in a public rest area is in the top 5.
Believe it or not, I have spared you some of the nastier details. Sunday evening was rough for us both but today I am officially on the mend while Eric is a veritable invalid. We have laughed a lot. Slept a lot. Drank a lot of gatorade. Bleached a lot. Lysoled a lot.
By the way, having your child tinker in her play kitchen while unnecessarily wearing a snowsuit is perfectly normal behavior when both parents are seriously under the weather.
Because I am feeling better than Eric is I have been able to start putting our little family back together again today. I’m doing laundry, heating up soup, and keeping Harper away from her still-sick daddy. For a split second as I was putting in another load of laundry I had this sort of empowered feeling. Help me out here, mommas, you know what I’m talking about. The feeling that despite the odds I can do what it takes to keep my family going. I know what they need and I know how to get it done. The Lord has called me to do a lot of things, namely to know Him and to walk with Him. And THIS - this mustering the strength to care for my family who needs me - is way up there. I think the Lord allows us this empowered feeling, this sense of pride, to keep us from becoming jaded when the stress of life builds up, to keep us sweet when we could become bitter.
So here’s to all the mommas who press on when they want to lay down.
Here’s to my own momma who loved us this way in every memory I have.
I love you, momma.