Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight. The story of our spring break.

One time on vacation Sam got so sick that we had to call an ambulance.  And another trip we spent forever in the tiny emergency room in Eureka Springs, Arkansas to get Ethan diagnosed with after-regular-doctor-hours pink eye.  

And there was that unfortunate trip to Sea World where we medicated poor baby Christopher every 4 hours to get our money's worth out of the expensive tickets.  The VERY SAME trip that David came down with a mystery illness that the doctor thought was a rare and debilitating thyroid condition.  Which it was not.  Just a plain old sickness - not of the rare and debilitating kind.  

And all we ever wanted to do was go on vacation. 

So on day one of this trip  - by noon - my stomach throwing a fit - and me thinking of jumping out of the moving car.... we had already stopped 5 times and only 2 hours from home.  And I resigned it all to a vision of things yet to come.  And little Sam let us know that he can't take this anymore.

But let it forever be known that one stop was totally not my stomach's we made a dangerous side of the freeway pullover to bring in wet luggage from the rain.  Rain that my husband swore and bet on his first born child that wasn't going to happen. 

So we finally arrived and found our retro-tiny hotel room.  (Like the old Holiday Inn motels that my family would always cram into on trips.  And my mom would spray everything down with a can of Lysol before we could use the bathroom.)  

But in this spring break bathroom, if we so chose, we could sit on the toilet and take a shower at the same time.   Maybe one of my kids did.  

David said it looks like a rock band slept here. 

Everyone shared beds and one kid slept on his boy scout cot by the air conditioner.  And Sam went to bed with crackers in his pocket and that was good for at least 10 minutes of commotion.  So day one of travel wrapped up - with all of us watching Paul Blart Mall Cop in our pajamas and everyone beat down by 8:30. 

The forecast highs of 70's were closer to the 50's most days... but the boys braved the pool anyway.  Because they're crazy. 

And they played outside like there was no tomorrow.  Which is what every modern day mom wants for their boys. 

And David and I read a lot, and took walks and discussed things like if we would save each other from a bear attack or a falling tree.  And my selfishness was apparent in this area but husband is totally committed to fighting a bear for me.  And we decided if one of us gets crushed by a tree on this particular walk - the other one probably would too - so no need to speculate there. 

And on day 3 we rented a paddle boat and a canoe and had to return to shore about 20 minutes later to trade out fighting brothers and vehicles.  But out there on the water with me and the kid that usually has only words enough to tell me he's hungry - or needs new school pants - we had opportunity to discuss family, and love and trust.  And I was truly surprised to hear him admit that no matter what he says sometimes, he would always be there for his brothers.  And he even used the uber anti-teen words, unconditional love

Yet somewhere on that third day... as obvious payment for some former evil committed in my life.... my first day stomach virus came back to life like a scene from the Exorcist.  And I almost died, and I cried a lot.  And the people in the next room wished they could move. 

And I think at one point I begged my husband to kill me.  But instead he rubbed my aching muscles and took care of the boys and in his own sweet way, fought a bear for me.

And I hated for my boys to see me in such a low place.  But crammed into tight spaces is where our togetherness is most tested.  And I would've crazy loved an updated Hilton or even better, my own home, at that point.  But in the darkness of those nights, all 5 of us in the same tiny room, when the lights went out, their little hearts came open.  

And I got the rare opportunity to listen in on the nightly routine of my three boys talking themselves to sleep. 

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  1. I had to read this when I saw the title, because I was just talking to some girlfriends last week about stomach viruses being a "great" crash diet. Wonderfully written stories. I hate being sick on vacation. I usually pray for health on vacation, but then even if I get sick at home I always hate that I have so much going on. There's just never a good time to be sick.

  2. And Amy, my post virus flat stomach lasted about 2 days.... now returning to regular Kristi shape. So much for the diet concept. And here's to hoping none of us have to do this EVER AGAIN. Thanks for reading!


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