The events I am about to describe are 100 % true. I tell you this upfront lest you think I might exaggerate (I prefer the term "literary artistic license," mind you) by embellishing some of the nonessential details for the sake of good storytelling.
This is the kind of story that is no fun at all when you are immersed in its unfolding. It is only weeks (months, years?) later when you can look back and laugh, ruefully, as you say, "Remember the weekend when..."
But let me back up to the beginning. Back to coordinating summer plans and camps when I realize that, although different schedules and different states, the kids' summer camps overlap on two glorious days. Let me repeat, for emphasis: Both children are scheduled to be out of town for the whole weekend!
Now, what are the odds that our youth pastor would be unable to fulfill his chaperone's duties? When he calls Paul with a request-- "Lore's baby isn't due for a few weeks but I need a backup chaperone just in case," Paul is happy to be on call. What are the odds?
Superstitious people will say I jinxed the whole thing by actually telling people out loud how much I was looking forward to this weekend with Paul. When the call came Friday (no surprise--you saw that one coming) and he left, I was initially disappointed. Then I began to regroup and ponder the unimaginable. A weekend alone. The house all to myself! Whatever I choose to do will be uninterrupted! I could sit in front of the TV with a pint of Ben and Jerry's and not have to share a single spoonful.
Friday night I help Jack pack. With his bulging duffel bag finally zipped by the door, I tuck him in and turn off the light. I close my eyes, snuggle into my sheets and start to drift off only to be interrupted by, "Mom? I don't feel good."
That's when the vomiting begins. We scramble to the bathroom. With each subsequent trip to the toilet, I feel more helpless. Other than offering a cool washcloth and murmuring my sympathies, there's not much I can do. For eight straight hours, the stomach virus wreaks havoc on Jack's system. I don't think I've pulled an all-nighter since college but neither of us sleep. Sometime in the early morning hours, I realize camp is not an option. The bus is about to depart for Georgia and, rather than waving his goodbyes from the window, Jack is curled up in the fetal position on a towel on the bathroom floor.
Poor Jack. He was really looking forward to camp. Change of plans. Instead he will spend the weekend at home with his mother. I hope when he wakes up we can try to salvage what's left of it.
I've still got a movie and some ice cream. The new plan--two spoons.