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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Keeper

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).

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ugghh. So sorry to hear you've all been through the rage of the stomach virus. So happy your little man feels better now. (That is SO hard seeing your child feel so bad he can't even keep water down.)

Andrea said...

Aw, that is the saddest, yet the sweetest story I've read in awhile.

You are beautiful. Don't you forget it.

Anonymous said...

Poor kiddo! I hope he feels better soon. Isn't is great that husbands sometimes actually do say the right things now and then.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget one sorry sorry time when my daughter had a similar bout. We both went through at least six changes of clothes and more towels than I could count. I hope he's better now!

Reba said...

I hope he is feeling better. I hate it when munchkin is sick and there is nothing I can do other than soothe him.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone is on the mend at your house. It's been a stressful month or two for you. Goodness!

Take care!

Dana said...

Oh gawd, I hope, hope, hope he doesn't have what Ewan had. Poor little guy. Don't forget to also take care of yourself.

lildb said...

that is beautiful/sad/exhausting. and beautiful again.

Peter said...

I try to think of the vomit-bath as somewhat baptismal. I think that's just absurdly positive thinking.