When our phone rang yesterday, a pleasant voice calmly said, "Hi, this is the school nurse."
"I have your son here and he's complaining of an upset stomach."
I felt a pit grow wondering which of our two boys could be sitting in the school nurses office, doubled over.
"Is it Christian or Ethan?"
"Did he throw up?"
"No, no. He didn't throw up, but since he's in the third grade and I've never seen him before, I thought it was worth the call - seeing how he's not often sick. Oh, he wants to talk to you..."
"Mommy?" Christian's voice was little and weak.
"I don't feel good."
"Alright - I'll be right there little man. Hang on okay?"
"Kay. I'll just go up to class and wait then."
"No, NO Christian...WAIT!"
He had already handed the phone back to the nurse. Just before she hung it up, I heard her try to coax him to stay. This was Christian though. The child who wouldn't miss a minute of class for anything.
Grabbing our two younger kids, I jumped in the car to rush to the school. Haunting images of Christian throwing up all over his classroom began to flash through my mind. The stage was set for disaster.
My chest pounded as memories came back to my days in school. I kept telling my teacher that I didn't feel well and she kept making me go back to my desk. On the last attempt, I begged her to let me go to the bathroom, but right in the middle of her refusal, I threw up all over her. I covered my teacher, her desk, the floor and everywhere else. I can still hear her screaming to this day - not to mention how embarrassed I was in front of my class.
(Come on...come on...we're almost there...) I swear that we hit every red light. When I was about three minutes away, my cell phone rang. Looking at the caller ID, I knew.
"Is he okay?"
"Well...are you almost here?"
"Yes...in like...three minutes...Is he alright?"
"He's fine. I tried to get him to stay here with me, but he really wanted to go back to class. He's on his way back though because I guess he just threw up everywhere."
"Was he in the hall?"
"No...he made it back to his room and got sick all over his desk."
"I'm almost there now...I'll be one sec."
Pulling the kids out of their car seats, we raced into the school. I waited up front and wondered where he was. Our second son Ethan was already there waiting with his backpack.
"MOM! Christian threw up EVERYWHERE!"
Ethan is in the second grade...a whole year below Christian. Word travels fast.
Finally, he came out with the kind and pleasant nurse. She had her arm around our teary eyed, pasty faced, puke covered, son. He smelled like a frat house. He LOOKED like a frat house.
I peeled his wet sweater off trying not to let any residual vomit drop to the floor and I pulled him towards me, just wanting to get him home.
Handing a bag to us for our journey back, the nurse gave Christian a warm look and we were off.
"Are you okay Buddy?"
"Do you feel better, worse, or the same?"
"I don't know...the same I guess."
"I puked everywhere."
The younger three kids started to giggle.
"I know baby. I'm sorry."
"Yeah. The teacher jumped up and made all of the kids run out of the room really fast."
Childhood memories flooding back again...it broke my heart to know what he was feeling now too.
Shutting his eyes and leaning his head back, he put his hands up to his face. I wanted to hold him and tell him how everything would be alright...everybody gets sick...these things happen.
"It was kind of cool."
I guess in all of it, the biggest thing that I forgot to remember was that he was...in fact...a boy. Get well soon little man.