Getting sick — and I mean really sick — is something new to me.
For most of my life, I was never one to be ill. Rarely did I ever miss school for sickness growing up and the only actual academic awards I ever had a sniff of were those spotlighting attendance.
In my adult life, that has carried through to work, as I have never missed a day due to an illness. Hernia surgery, concerts and births of my kids, yes, but calling out sick has never happened.
Last Friday, however, of all days, I did have to leave the office early after some sort of stomach bug attacked with a vengeance.
The interesting aspect was just a few minutes before I started feeling awful my wife called to let me know she was heading home early herself because she was sick.
All this took place about 48 hours after Carson began vomiting minutes before he was being put to bed. Actually I was walking to his bedroom with him in my arms when he vomited all over both of us. It was quite the shocker because there were no warning signs to that point.
That was last Wednesday night and Carson had more than likely picked it up from a buddy at day care. Little did we know it at the time, but the bug was about to work over the entire family.
By Friday afternoon, Pam and I started to get that same sudden feeling that our little guy must have had two days prior.
It was a rough afternoon and evening for us, as we took turns in the bathroom. All the while trying desperately not to spread what we had to Beckett, who had been faring well up to that point.
Unfortunately, when it came time to put Beckett down, I sensed something. Call it fatherly intuition (I made that phrase up), but he just seemed off.
To me, it’s all about the eyes with little ones (they truly are the windows to the souls), and I could see something was awry and that he was not feeling as good as he was just an hour or so before.
At first, he complained his stomach hurt, but there was nothing remarkable to that.
I hoped it was my imagination, but I willingly volunteered to sleep on the floor in Beckett’s room that night. Honestly, I didn’t have enough energy to go back downstairs or make it to our bedroom anyway.
When Pam later came in to check on me (she said it was 9 p.m. or so, while I figured it was 3 a.m.), she said I mumbled something incoherent and then she went to bed, assuming all was fine. We were both feeling awful.
Sure enough, a couple hours later, I was awoken to Beckett afflicted with the same disgusting symptoms as Carson two nights before and his parents earlier in the day.
It was a long night for all of us and an even longer day after as cleanup duties had to commence.
What was amazing to me was how resilient the kids were with recovering from this bug.
Carson and Beckett each had one rough night, but the next day there were no signs of anything. They were as good as new.
As a matter of fact, the next morning Beckett was playing indoor soccer with little to no signs of what the night before held, and Carson was just being himself, trying to climb anything and everything with reckless abandon.
It was quite the different story for the parents.
Four days later, we were still coping with persistent stomach pains and ridiculous waves of nausea.
I will do just about anything for my kids if they ask nicely and use the word “please”.
There’s perhaps no better example than at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival earlier this month.
For whatever reason, Beckett seemed to be struggling adjusting to the crowds and music at first. Fortunately, he did come around eventually and got into the spirit, showing off his dance moves on the stage a little bit.
Actually, I don’t think he ever actually danced. It was more like he jumped around, leading to him skipping around the stage in a circular fashion.
He repeatedly asked Pam to join him on the dance floor and eventually turned to asking me. I think he figured he had a better shot with his mom. He was right.
After declining in a variety of fashions and even resorting to several lame excuses (something about carrying a beer or maybe it was a hot dog), he finally wore me down with a smile, a few tugs on my hand and a conniving sort of “please”.
While I was embarrassing myself with my son, I could hear Pam saying, “see, you can’t help but smile when you skip.” I had never hurt that before, but she was right.
Try it next time and let me know if you can skip without smiling. It’s impossible I think, particularly when your son is holding your hand saying, “go faster, daddy, … you’re not going fast enough daddy, … please.”
Later, a phone video of the day’s activities prompted Pam to say, “Beckett is the only person in this world that could get you to do that in front of all those people.”
Carson could, too, but she’s probably right.