Being a family of six and living a day’s drive from both sides of our family have made taking a vacation a challenge. A couple of years ago we decided that we’d incorporate some vacation type things into the visit with our family.
We rented a condo with my parents for two nights at the beach near where my parents live. It was perfect. The condo was just a short walk from the beach. The days were beautiful and sunny, and the kids were loving every minute.
Our stay at the condo happened to be on Grace’s third birthday. We bought an ice-cream cake, ordered pizza, and brought the little gifts we had already wrapped for her. She loved her party at the ocean. After supper we all went back out to enjoy the beach. This is where the trouble began.
Grace was tired after swimming in the shallow water with her daddy and was now playing calmly in the sand beside her grandparents. I was taking as many pictures as I could until poor Grace lost her birthday meal all over the beautiful sand. I took her back to the condo, cleaned her up and put her to bed, but the heaves kept waking her up about every half hour.
Later that evening the rest of us were all sitting around the table snacking. I remember someone commenting about how many Cheetos Faith was eating, but uh…the Cheetos didn’t stay down long. Now we had two kids throwing up. Jason and I tag teamed. He’d clean up the floor and I the child. We used every square inch of paper towel available. I thanked the Lord many times for the little closet washer and drier in the condo!
We all finally got to sleep about one o’clock in the morning, only to be woken up by Joy screaming. The poor little thing was sick in her sleep. By the time we got there, she had thrown up all over the couch, and she was covered and her hair just caked. I saw no other choice but to wake Jason up. He was oh so thrilled to get the couch job. Meanwhile I put Joy in the shower, and in her delirium she screamed and fought me with all her might as I tried to wash her hair.
By the time we got Joy cleaned up, Faith had thrown up again, and so it went until about four o’clock in the morning. I had never had three of my children all sick at the same time. The next morning we packed and cleaned up the best we could. Just as we were getting ready to leave, little Jason Jr. took his turn. So this will forever go down in my memory as the vacation when all four of my kids got the stomach flu and all within twelve hours.
We drove the hour and a half to my parents’ house. My dad made a pallet on the tile floor so as not to have to worry about cleaning up the carpet. He wasn’t feeling well and lay down with the children. Every one slept for hours.
By evening everyone felt better, and we began to get a little stir crazy. So, believe it or not, we decided to go eat Guadalajara-style tacos–a favorite of mine. Oh, the food was so good. The horchata, a Mexican sweet rice drink, tasted especially good that day–so good that little Grace kept asking for more. Enjoying my food and visiting with my mom, I wasn’t really paying attention to how much she was drinking…until every drop she had swallowed landed all over the table and what was left of the food. We all got up and bolted to the door. When we got to the van, Faith spoke up for all of us: “That was embarrassing!”
In the end, I think it worked out for the best that they all got sick at the same time, because they all got well and we were still able to enjoy the rest of our vacation.
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