Heather Smith
Many, many, moons ago a young man named Ethan Zahn revealed his biggest fear: throwing up. I immediately felt a connection to this curly haired cutie. “I hear ya, soul brother,” I thought. “I hear ya.”

Last night at 3am, I awoke with Rosie at my bedside. “My stomach hurts. Really bad.” My warm, relaxed body stiffened. All the hairs on the back of my neck stood on edge. It was as though Freddie Krueger was standing over me, not my sweet nine year old daughter. I think I even stopped breathing.

I knew what I had to do. I had to go lay down with her, comfort her, be there for her when the inevitable happened. The problem was, I didn’t really want to.

I headed off to Rosie’s bedroom with lead feet. I looked back at my snoozing husband, I shall be brave, my dear. I shall return a different woman, one much tenser and, in all likelihood, a bit smellier. Then I went to the gallows, alone.

I lay down with Rosie, keeping her company while we waited for the eruption … ‘cause in the end, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Yeah, I’m a good mother. Anything for my kids. Did I mention that I strategically placed a giant stuffed chimpanzee between us as a vomit shield?

The poor kid was getting worse. She was not feeling good at all. To keep her mind off things we moved to the couch. We watched Merry Christmas Drake and Josh (wow that Josh kid has lost A LOT of weight) and were, thankfully, only ten minutes into Hannah Montana (the one where Hannah’s brother destroys her teddy bear so she steals his prized baseball in retaliation – fascinating) when it happened. Rosie spewed. On the carpet. (Yes, I had a bucket ready, I’m not an idiot, Rosie just decided to run for the bathroom instead.)

I woke up the one-man cleaning crew.

While Rob was on his hands and knees longing for his bed, picking carrot chunks out of the carpet fibers, I was in the bathroom with Rosie longing for the days when she wore her hair in a short bob.

A short while later the carpet was as clean as our carpet gets and Rosie was asleep in bed. I stayed awake … listening … but, miraculously, heard nothing but my husband’s snoring. It was over. Phew. Now I could think about other things. Like whatever happened to Ethan Zahn?
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