We are not a sick family. Since leaving the classroom and mostly staying home, Adam and I and the children stay healthy. I get a cold -- maybe -- once a year.
But I returned from West Virginia with a sore throat, and I'm just now finally getting over it. It left me with heavy mucus strangling my vocal cords. At first I couldn't speak well, and then it robbed me of my singing voice. I lost three weeks of rehearsals with the Community Chorus for Christmas.
Anna had the same thing, although not quite so bad.
Then Julia came down with it. She and Anna added a headache to the list of symptoms.
And then, on Saturday Adam got sick. Adam never gets sick. I can honestly say, in 21 years of marriage, I've only known him to throw up twice: once after he made a bad batch of not-correctly-cooked beef jerky, and a second time after eating at Ryan's Steak House. Both times it was clearly food poisoning.
Well, he didn't throw up this time, but had a splitting, thumping headache. And he was so achy that his skin tingled and he didn't want me to touch him. When Adam doesn't want me to touch him, he must be deathly ill.
Still, he preached yesterday and did a good job.
This morning, at about 5:15, Peter opened my bedroom door and declared, "Mom, my stomach is killing me!" He said he didn't need the ER, but he was doubled over. Hmm. My foggy brain tried to concentrate on what I might possibly have in the house for stomach ills. I went digging in the closet and saw an old bottle of Pepto Bismol.
(I adored the taste of Pepto Bismol as a child. Did you?)
It had expired in 2008.
But I shook it well, opened it, and it smelled exactly as Pepto Bismol should. I thought, "How much harm can it do? His stomach already hurts...."
So I gave him a dose. In about 4 minutes, he was feeling better. Yay!
I sent him back to bed, with the bottle of Pepto Bismol. I thought he might -- just might -- need another dose before morning.
When I talked to him at 7:30, he was feeling fine, and planning to go to school. I asked about the bottle. Had he used any more?
Uh, yeah. He had. He showed me the bottle. I think he likes the taste too. He'd nearly polished off the rest of the bottle -- I'd say almost a cup of Pepto Bismol altogether.
All I could do was laugh. Now I can legitimately get a new bottle at WalMart today.
And before he went off to school, Peter told me I was the best mom EVER.