Sometime in the very near future, my wife and I, as weak and ragged as we are, are going to gather every bit of energy we have, and we’re going to scour and scrub every surface of our home. And then we’re going to scrub our souls.
A little over a year ago, Casey and I were lounging in Mexico sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun. When we weren’t sitting on the beach enjoying the 80 degree weather or eating authentic Mexican cuisine, I was in the ocean with the waves as I pretended to be 13 years old again.
What does Mexico have to do with the need to scrub our souls? Let me tell you.
Up until our trip in Mexico, I had been in the ocean on several occasions, but the waves on those beaches were rather modest. The biggest waves barely topped the three foot mark and carried very little power behind them. The waves in Mexico were different. Some of those waves were twice as tall as me, and if they hit me just right, they had the ability to drive me straight into the sand and toss me about like a rag doll. On my first day on the beach in Mexico, I walked out into the ocean and watched other people make attempts to ride the waves, but I wasn’t ready for that yet. Instead, I walked out about 40 feet to where the water was at about waist level.
Eventually, I decided to head back to shore, and so I casually turned my back on the waves and began walking back to the shore. I could hear the next wave coming and I started to pick up my pace a bit, but I had no idea what I was in for. The wave hit me in the back, and everything seemed to go into slow motion. My shoulders and head whipped back from the wave’s force all while my back shot forward as if it had been hit by a tree. My legs came up out from underneath me as I shot forward, and my face and chest began to take aim for the ground below. Next thing I knew, I found myself face first in the sand, and before I could really grasp what was happening, I swear I felt the back of my ankles touch the back of my head as the wave continued to roll my body up and throw it towards shore. A few more rolls and face-plants into the sand — I swear I heard the ocean chuckle — and I was standing up trying to figure out how I was going to get all of the sand out of all the awkward spots of my body without looking like a complete idiot — it was too late for that.
Well, that’s how my family feels this week. We’ve heard about some stomach bug that has been going around. Kids at Addie’s schools began to drop off like flies one by one from the stomach bug. Casey and I knew it could happen to our family, but we were hopeful we had suffered enough sickness for this year that this bout of the stomach bug would pass us by. Nope. Just like that wave in the ocean, that stomach bug hit us in the back as hard as it could.
Addie came down with a stomach ache on Sunday night and had puked a half-a-dozen times by midnight, and by Monday morning, Vivi had puked in her bed a few times too. Things got even worse on Monday night when Casey and I found a puke covered Vivi, screaming, “Dad, I barfed.” (Barfed? Who did she hear that from?) Casey changed Vivi’s bedding, and I quickly gave Vivi the best late-night bath I could. We changed her jammies and had her back in bed as quickly as we could. Five minutes later, we got to repeat the process — “Dad, I barfed again.”
Did I mention that was the worst smelling “barf” I have ever smelled? When we had Vivi down for the second time, I started to feel nauseous, but I was sure it was just from the smell of what Vivi’s stomach had produced. Well, that wave of sickness had other plans, because by 2AM, I was downstairs by myself wide-awake suffering through a very miserable bout of the stomach bug. I ended up in bed asleep with a fever and a stomach ache for nearly 24 straight hours. Casey was left with the two puking kids all by herself. By the end of that night, Casey wasn’t feeling so hot either. I consider this moment to be the equivalent of when that wave firmly slammed my face into the sand and then somehow found a way to make the back of my ankles touch the back of my head — I’m not bendy, I swear. Later that night, Vivi puked on two separate occasions, and by the time Casey was done cleaning her off, she was ready to hop in a car and drive away.
For a period of 24 hours, everyone in this house was wiped out by the stomach bug. We were all rendered useless, which meant there was an awful lot of Mickey Mouse being watched by two kids as Casey and I struggled to exist — let alone be parents.
We’re now on our way out of the stomach bug hell we found ourselves in, and sometime in the next few days we’re going to scrub our souls — there’s no other way to get rid of the smell of Vivi’s barfs.
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