Julie Lyles Carr: Vomit Vacation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vomit Vacation


Of all the weeks, I thought.
Of all the weeks.

We had been flying through our fall, engines at full throttle, happy but stressed, busy but tired, focused but frenetic.
Until a few days ago.

Until my precious running partner/sister neighbor got to experience 5 of 8 dousing down her hallway in projective stomach bug. He came staggering home to tell me he thought he was sick, I called the precious running partner/sister neighbor to offer to come down and mop up. "I took care of it," she said. "No worries." (I'm keeping her. You can't have her.)

I wanted to believe that 5 of 8 would be the only one. I really did. And for a bit, his tummy distress seemed to be his own personal issue, certainly not something to be shared more broadly.

I'm a hopeless optimist, I am.

Sunday, at church, in the middle of praise and worship, I got a text from 4 of 8. "So. I threw up."

Let the games begin.

By that night, more of us were going down and going down fast. Myself included.

This week was chock full of all kinds of important stuff. I'm in the middle of recording another audio book, a fantastic non-fiction piece with a looming deadline. I was also scheduled to speak twice. 1, 2 and 3 of 8 all had major work and exams to complete at their college classes. 6 of 8 is in the middle of finishing choreography for this winter's upcoming competitions. Work and classes for the big kids, school and activities for the youngers, Thanksgiving prep and pre-Christmas shopping. And the triple birthdays. Three of us have birthdays this week, three days in a row.

But regardless....
Regardless of calendars and commitments and classes...
It was time for a Vomit Vacation.

One which most of us were invited to go on.
I hate Vomit Vacation.

But there we've been, in the middle of a week that was scheduled and timed to the nth degree. Vomit Vacation was called.

And you know what?

As unpleasant as the vehicle has been, this enforced time out has had its perks. I had to be still and quiet. And rest. The kids had to be still and quiet. And rest. The healthy members of the household throttled back their schedules and pitched in, running to the store, fetching crackers and Sprite, offering comfort, tenderness. We've celebrated birthdays over bowls of soup. For just a handful of days, we've let go of the taut leash of the schedule and let it run. We'll catch it later. We've taken a breath, albeit a queasy one.

And all it took was a little cookie-tossing.
Doesn't take much to get my attention. Ahem.

I'm digging us out now. We still have one or two who are taking longer to mend. There is all the Post Event Laundry to be dealt with. And Mike and I will need to discuss why our six year olds are struggling with the concept of aim when it comes to stomach bugs and emesis basins. Maybe that needs to be added to our homeschool curriculum.

But I'm not letting this viral respite go to waste.
It's been just a nasty week.
And a good one.

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