The night before last, Mate was suddenly felled by stomach cramps, intestinal explosions and vomiting. Loyal spouse that I am, I rapidly decamped to the U shaped sofa in the garage.
Middle appeared soon afterwards and said he felt nauseous. I gave him some Chinese Curing herbs and sent him back to bed. Sometime later, I was yanked awake by a primal moan. Someone was calling me, "MOOOOOM…MOOOOMMM!" There was something really wrong with the sound. It was too long. Too low. As I staggered to Middle’s room I was afraid. Would I find something there that would put us all on a different planet?
Middle was sleeping peacefully. So was Youngest. So was Oldest. I then realized that the sound was not a call for "Mom," but Mate, expelling the contents of his intestines into the toilet. We were all still on the same planet.
In the thirty feet between the garage and Middle’s room I had imagined a nightmarish place we would never come home from. Do all mothers have such easy access to terror?
At 2:30AM, Middle appeared, trailing the large, beat up pasta pot that serves as the container for all the nasty stuff that comes out of our family when the stomach flu hits. He lay at a perpendicular angle to me and slept, only occasionally spitting something unsavory into the pot.