A pestilence descended upon the house.
It struck the child, though the parents were spared.
The child awoke vomiting in the middle of the night.
He heaved again and again, until there was nothing left to spew, and then, he heaved some more. And cried.
His mother spent the night holding him, trying to give him sips of water, catching the bile he heaved up in a towel, for hours, until, finally, some water stayed down.
Then he slept.
And then he woke up and vomited some more, and more.
Then he drank some juice, and stopped vomiting, and slept again. When he awoke, he began to play.
Just when the parents thought that perhaps the child might be on the mend,
he vomited again,
all over his recently-showered mother's hair.
The mother did not flinch. She did not retch. She did not turn away. She held the child while he vomited. Then she hugged the sobbing, vomit-soaked child to her vomit-soaked chest, and told him it was not his fault. Then she and the father washed the child, and changed his clothes, again.
When the child was clean, the father looked at his sleep-deprived, filth-encrusted wife, and said, sincerely, "My beautiful love."
And the mother, strangely, felt beautiful.
(And the mother showered again, and the child felt better in the evening, and managed to drink a whole cup of Gatorade without spewing it back out all over himself.
And then they all went to bed).