A little bit of background:
1. I gag when I brush my teeth.
2. When I was younger, I was known for the Shea-shudder--an uncontrollable whole-body tremor when drinking any strong alcohol.
3. When Sidney was an infant, I could not clean her umbilical cord stump without gagging and leaving the room after every swipe. That was the first time. After that, it just didn't get cleaned unless Matt was home.
4. Thinking about anything the texture of runny egg whites, no matter what color causes an instant gag. Seeing it almost guarantees a trip to the restroom.
So, Sidney had a playdate the other day. She was long overdue for some non-adult and non-infant interaction, so I finally took the initiative I should have taken much earlier this summer and called one of her schoolmates to arrange a visit. The plan--I would pick up her little friend and bring her back to our house pretty early in the morning so her mom could take full advantage of her toddler's midmorning nap. We'd return sometime in the afternoon so mom and I could enjoy a chat while our girls gained some extra play time.
Despite the lack of sleep our 4 month old is imposing on us these days, we miraculously get out the door shortly after 8am and make the trek through the morning traffic to pick up Sid's friend. As we're heading to the car, the two girls holding hands, mom calls after me to let me know that her daughter was too excited to eat much breakfast, so she barely even finished a kid-sized yogurt. No problem. We get in the car and we're off, the baby screaming as is her traveling habit, the two girls buckled in but still managing all kinds of loud interactive movement. I begin offering up the Hail Marys as my weak attempt at not scolding them for all the unnecessary noise in the car.
When we're about 10 minutes from our house and stuck in slow moving highway traffic, Sid's friend announces that her tummy doesn't feel too well. I'm not surprised or too concerned--she's been awake for hours, with just a small yogurt to fill her tummy and she and Sidney have spent the last few minutes looking at one of those seek-and-find books...just a little case of the carsick-queasies. I give an offhand reassurance that we're almost home and then suggest she tell me if she thinks I need to pull over for her. The girls resume their backseat fun and I go back to my Hail Marys. Phew.
We finally manage to get away from the slow-moving highway fumes onto our exit, when the little girl again announces that she still isn't feeling well. I offer some suggestions about what could be wrong in a weak effort to reassure her--perhaps she's warm, reading in the car makes me carsick, empty stomach, the fumes. Nope, nope, nope, nope. "I think it's driving too fast," she states matter-of-factly through her now greenish-hued glance. Ok, I think, better pull over.
We make it to a McDonald's parking lot, where I park and let her out of the car and guide her to a grassy patch, hand her a water bottle and suggest she just sit for a few minutes. We sit a long time, and she doesn't look any better, but we're just sitting. No need for a bag or a stop in the restroom. We're 2 minutes from home now, so back in the car we go. Because we've worked hard to instill a sense of concern and care in our daughter, Sidney repeatedly asks her friend if she's going to puke and then proceeds to talk about how gross that is. More Hail Marys.
We pull into the garage, I let the girls out of the car and move to get the baby seat out and into the house. As I'm putting the car seat down in our front room, I hear a request for the bathroom. As Sidney directs her friend, I hear the splash on the hallway tile.
Somehow I was able to mentally check out for a few minutes--just enough time to give the poor little girl a roll of paper towels to clean herself off as I wiped up the rest with minimal gagging. The little girl was so devastated--can you imagine adding insult to injury by gagging and being sick while trying to help her clean up. Somehow I don't think that getting sick immediately after someone else qualifies as compassion.
God doesn't called the equipped. God equips the called. Thank You God!
I'm thankful today for the realization that sometimes I feel completely out of my league in this adventure of my vocation. I'm thankful for the reminder that if I was so great at everything I was called to do, I would fail to seek the One who called me to this job in the first place. And, I'm thankful today for long naps.