On Saturday's Jim gets up with Dylan and I sleep in. Sundays we switch. When I finally came down on Saturday, I could tell within about five minutes that something was wrong with Dylan. I don't know how Jim missed it. There was one very big tip-off - he wasn't talking. My kid talks from the second he wakes up, pretty much until the second he falls asleep at night. But, Saturday, my motor mouth was just sitting there, staring into space, silent. He told me his belly and his throat hurt.
He asked to take a nap at 10:30, and then I was sure he was sick. He slept for three hours! Even though he had a temperature of 100.9, he seemed okay after the nap. He was playing catch with Jim and had more energy, so after a dose of Tylenol, we decided to go ahead with our plan to go out to eat for dinner.
We went to Applebees first, but the line was ridiculous. Panera Bread was right next door, so even though Jim never wants to go there, he gave in. I was holding Dylan's hand, giving my order, when I felt something on my shoes. Dylan threw up, right on the counter and floor, where everyone stands to give their order. Boy, there is nothing like puke to make a room come to a complete stand still. All the teenage girl workers stood frozen, their noses scrunched up in disgust, looking around as if some magical puke fairy would appear and clean it all up, leaving their freshly manicured nails unscathed. One girl went to get a rag, looked at it, looked at me, and asked if I would clean it up. "Just give it to me!", I snarled. Suddenly one of the teenage girls came around the corner with a bucket and mop, smiling at me. Smiling! "I'll take care of it!", she told me, still smiling in her sweet way. The magical puke fairy! I loved her.
Jim and Dylan came out of the bathroom, and we left, the looks of disgust and pity following us out. Luckily for Jim, we won't be gracing Panera Bread with our prescence for a while. Dylan said, "But, where are we gonna eat?", and then fell asleep five minutes later, as we drove down the road. That evening, he had a temperature of 102.9. Even though the whole day, he barely spoke, while we were getting him ready for bed, he suddenly said, "But, we didn't do our best things and hardest things!"
Of course, Jim and I had matching hardest things - Dylan being sick. Is there anything worse than your child being sick? You feel so helpless, powerless to make the pain go away. When it was Dylan's turn and he said, "I don't know if I have a best thing today", I almost cried. A few seconds later when he said his best thing was, "When Mommy rubbed my belly and my back", I almost cried again.
On Sunday he was back to his normal self. No temperature, his appetite back (more or less), and his happy, talkative personality returned. I couldn't stop smiling at him, pulling him close for a hug, and kissing his cheek. I was loving the never ending stream of chatter, that just days before was grating on my last nerve. I was so relieved he wasn't sick anymore. Every time he is sick, I think of the parents whose children are Sick, with a capital S. I think of how helpless they must feel. How powerless to make the pain go away.
I think of how sad it is that it often takes a bad day to truly appreciate the good ones.