Monday, July 31, 2017

We didn't die of dysentery

We made it!

I thoroughly enjoyed the few days I spent at Amy's house relaxing, though I was kept somewhat busier than I anticipated with a farewell party on Wednesday and a Relief Society pool party on Thursday. I still have to write about the exciting week of socialization the kids had with friends and fun, but that will have to wait until I'm prepared to go through the pictures that are scattered on my hard drive, various cell phones, and our camera.

Benjamin, as you know, came down with a stomach bug on Monday evening, which was rather unfortunate. He threw up several times during the night and produced a lot of laundry that we weren't expecting to do, necessarily, so at the last minute I threw in a couple of extra outfits in the children's luggage...just in case...because when I had had them pack, I had them follow a list I'd made that expressly outlined how many pairs of whatever to pack. In an effort to conserve space I really didn't ask them to pack a whole lot of spare clothing.

Poor Benjamin was throwing up again on Tuesday. By Wednesday his issues had moved south, which is almost worse than throwing up because you can hold a throw up bucket in the car but what, exactly, do you do for diarrhea?

On Thursday, however, I got the message that he was "solid" again, which I was rather relieved to learn because I had been feeling rather anxious about his ailments.

At the pool party my friend Annie, knowing that he had been feeling sick, asked how things were going on the drive.

"Good," I said. "I just got word that Benjamin's 100% better, so that's a relief... Wait. No."

Two text messages popped up on the screen of my phone:

1) Rachel just threw up
2) And now it's Zoë's turn

"Never mind," I sighed, holding up the phone for Annie to see.

Rachel's ten-years, of course, afforded her all the wisdom and experience needed to take care of her business appropriately. She asked for the throw up container, did the deed, zipped up the liner, and replaced it with a new one (ready for the next onslaught).

Zoë handled things with all the naïveté of a two-year-old and covered herself, her carseat, the seat her carseat was on, and anything else within her splash zone with vomit. She then proceeded to scream her head off (because what the heck just happened?!??!). 

They were in the middle of no where and eventually had to just pull over on the side of the road to strip her naked, rinse her off with water bottles, and wipe down her carseat as best they possibly could. She actually looked pretty happy (for someone who had just thrown up) to be dancing around on the side of the highway wearing nothing but a pull-up (picture is on my cell phone).

When I was telling my friend Valerie about this (on the way to the doctor) she very sincerely said, "Well, wasn't it a tender mercy that Benjamin got sick on Monday so you could prepare for this? The Lord always gives us what we need."

Valerie, you should know, has probably been shortlisted for sainthood. She is the sweetest, most amazing lady. She raised three special needs children (twins and a singleton--all on the autism spectrum) and is the quickest person to volunteer to serve. That's actually why I was with her on Friday. She'd asked if there was anything she could do to help and practically begged me to come up with something when I said I couldn't think of anything. But I did need a ride to my doctor's appointment, so Valerie, naturally, said she'd be more than willing to do that for me.

I'm not quite on the same level as Valerie (like, at all), but I've been blessed to know and learn from her the past five years. Unfortunately, five years may not have been quite enough time for me to learn everything I needed to from Valerie because although my mouth agreed with her, "Mmm...yes, I suppose so," my head was screaming, "TOO SOON, VALERIE! TOO SOON! THIS IS THE WORST!"

But, honestly, I'm glad Valerie pointed out that tender mercy because truly it its own little way. If Benjamin hadn't started throwing up on Monday we wouldn't have been at all prepared for the vomiting that went on in that van over the course of the next few days. But because he had gotten sick the kids all had extra outfits, we had a throw up container (and came up with the ziplock bag system) and stomach medicine on hand.

For some reason I had thought of other things that could have gone wrong (Tylenol and a thermometer got packed for "just in case," for example), but I had not even considered the possibility of a stomach virus (and I have no idea why because, oh, the stories I could tell of long-haul road trips while battling stomach viruses).

The more obvious blessing to me was that I wasn't in the van at all. Instead of spending five days with puking children in a van, I spent five hours in an airplane (with no one in my vicinity puking). I really dodged a bullet when I agreed to fly out.

Daddy and Grandpa both deserve medals for dealing with all the various bodily fluids they had to deal with, while also driving across the country, while managing to still make the trip memorable (in a good way) for the kids by making fun stops. And Miriam deserves a medal for her stomach of steel (she did not contribute to the deluge of partially digested food). And Rachel, Benjamin, and Zoë deserve medals for sticking things out at all. And Rachel can have an extra medal for all her hard work to keep Zoë happy. They were all amazing!

But I think we're all very happy to have made it to Utah.

We would have made terrible pioneers.

Five days of misery was plenty for us!

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