My son Sam spent last weekend with me, and when I picked him up on Friday he was in his usual mode — raring to go.
The minute Sam, 8, gets in the car he is sure to tell me everything he wants to do for the weekend. He doesn’t leave anything unplanned. He tells me what he wants for dinner, the videogames he wants to play, the movies he wants to see and the activities he wants to take part in.
On this particular weekend there are three things he tells me he wants to do: to play in his basketball game Saturday morning, to go see the re-released Star Wars movie in 3D, make a “volcano” with baking soda and vinegar and, because the snow is already falling, he wants to go sledding.
I assure him we will do all these things, he just needs to be patient. So Friday night we get groceries for the weekend and go home, our plans for the next two days firmed up.
At 4 a.m., as we are both sound asleep, Sam suddenly awakens and calls to me: “Dad, I’m sick! I gonna throw up.”
It’s that dreaded moment in the middle of the night all parents fear. You have a sick kid and they need you. So I went to his rescue and got him to the bathroom. Sure enough, he was sick.
There’s a joke told by comedian Jeff Foxworthy about nothing working better as an alarm clock and nothing making an adult move faster than the sound of a child throwing up.
For the next four hours he was up like clockwork, about every 45 minutes, sick to his stomach. As the morning wore on, it was obvious he wasn’t going to his basketball game.
Try telling Sam that. He insisted he would be well enough to play and I felt bad for him because he obviously wanted to be there for his team. I told him he needed to keep food and water down for a couple hours, then we’d see.
He fought as long as he could, insisting he could play, until he finally couldn’t hold it in any more and admitted he was too sick.
As soon as I told him he wasn’t going he gave in to his illness, took some medicine and went to sleep.
Off and on all day he slept and then at 7 p.m. he went to bed for the night. Sam didn’t stir again until 7:30 a.m.
Sunday. It was the longest time I think I’ve ever seen the boy be still.
But when he awakened, watch out, he was ready to get down to business. He woke me up and announced he was better and was ready to do something.
We spent the day squeezing his “todo list” for the entire weekend into just over 10 hours.
The kid devoured a good breakfast. Then we made it to see the Star Wars movie, followed by sledding at the hill and finally, dinner, before taking him home. There wasn’t a minute of time not spoken for in the day where Sam wasn’t making up for his “sick day.”
If there had been a basketball game going on somewhere, I’m pretty sure Sam would have jumped in and taken part.