It's not officially Christmas until you have a sick kid. And so now, it's officially Christmas.
I am one of five girls and while I have wonderful memories of Christmases in New Jersey with my sisters, I also have memories of one of us, or two of us, or all of us...being sick. If you pull out my childhood photo albums, you will find black and white photos taken on Christmas morning that capture the smiles of 4 little girls surrounded by dolls and Easy Bake Ovens and Barbies and baby strollers and loads of wrapping paper and....one sick little girl looming in the background on the couch with a strained smile and a bright red face on account of her raging fever. And it wasn't always the kids; I remember one year my father going to the hospital on Christmas Eve to have his appendix removed. Good times.
I thought we were all set last week when my daughter had a bad cold and an ear infection. But a real Christmas illness involves more drama like a trip to the emergency room for breathing problems. Ours came in the form of some serious projectile puking when my son was stricken in the middle of the night. Of course, since he was asleep, it happened in his bed (as opposed to over the toilet). I think he's better now. Although, I don't know for sure because I went to bed at 5:30 last night. I, too, have been afflicted. It's now 2:57 am and I feel much better, so I'm assuming my son is on the mend, as well.
Poor little guy. When he came home from school he showed no signs of illness. Isn't that the way it always is? One minute he's bouncing off the wall, the next minute he's hitting the wall. Hard. And while I'm holding him up over the toilet (I know, this is more graphic than you want or need) I keep thinking about how fired up he was just a few hours earlier.
He came leaping off of the school bus announcing that his team won the Christmas trivia contest at school. In fact, he carried his team and was dubbed their "secret weapon". The King of Christmas Movie Trivia. It makes a mother proud to know that her son is a walking Guinness Book of Useless Movie Trivia. Do you know the name of the coach of the Reindeer Games in the movie Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer? No, I bet you don't, but my son knew it was Comet. And what about the name of the rabbit in the Frosty the Snowman movie? Yup, he knew Hocus Pocus, as well. Not only did he know that Ebeneezer was Mr. Scrooge's first name, he also knew that Jacob Marley was his dead business partner. Apparently his team wanted to go with "carrot" as the answer to "What was Frosty the Snowman's nose made out of?" He had to sing them the song to convince them that it was a button. I think that's the question that earned him the title of Secret Weapon. He's good, he's damn good.
But it isn't his useless movie trivia that impresses me most. It's his understanding of his mother that makes me the proudest. When we got home from the bus, he unpacked his enormous backpack. He put his homework in a pile, he emptied his lunchbox and he gathered up all of the Christmas projects and artwork that he had been working on in school for the past few weeks. Then he handed me the pile and said, "This is all ready for the recycle bin, Mom." Now most mothers would hang on to the artwork and get all sentimental over the letter to Santa, but not me. I am a no-clutter kind of gal. I am not opposed to framing a nice piece of child's art, in fact, my kitchen is covered with my children's masterpieces. But most of the stuff they bring home goes directly into the recycle bin. And I love that he knows that about me.
Hopefully, he'll be fully recovered when he wakes up in 3 hours. He missed his Christmas party at school yesterday and was very upset. Today is the Holiday Sing and he doesn't want to miss the opportunity to sing about his knowledge of Frosty and Rudolph. Surely, he'll come home with a few more items for the recycle bin.
I just hope he leaves the Christmas germs at school...