Last Monday my friend AJ called and invited P, Caroline and me to spend Saturday at her family’s ranch. I told her we would love to because we always love spending time with her, plus she’s leaving in two weeks to go to Africa for three months to work on her book project called Lahema’s Legacy.
So on Saturday we headed down to the ranch for a day of fishing, swimming and just hanging out. Of course I packed so much for the trip that Caroline asked “Are we spending the night?”
No, baby. Your mama just has a fear of being caught anywhere without at least three changes of clothes. Some might call it a symptom of OCD.
We arrived at the ranch around noon and I made Caroline eat lunch before we did anything. I told her she’d need energy for the day. And somehow I didn’t feel like those two Cheerios she ate for breakfast were going to tide her over.
I would live to regret the decision to load her up with Fritos and ham.
As soon as lunch was over Caroline wanted to put on her swimsuit and get in the pool, and seeing as how it was 104 degrees we all decided that was a great idea. So we coated ourselves in SPF 50 and headed out to the pool.
I pulled up a lounge chair on the sundeck part of the pool next to AJ and her daddy. We sat and visited while Caroline and P jumped off the side and played in the pool. Good times.
About thirty minutes later, Caroline swam over to me, curled up in my lap and said, “Mama, my mouth feels funny.”
“Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?”
“Well, here drink some of my water.”
Here’s where I need to tell y’all that the pool is a saltwater pool and I thought her mouth probably just felt kind of salty.
I was wrong.
She drank a sip of my water.
Then she stared at me for about ten seconds.
And in a scene that has replayed about a hundred times in my mind, she threw up all over me.
JUST KILL ME NOW.
I held out my hands in a futile attempt to catch it.
It didn’t really work.
Fortunately for the pool but unfortunately for me, my body and my new bathing suit caught the rest of it.
There is nothing that makes you feel quite as good as being someone’s guest, lounging by their pool, and watching your child throw up everywhere.
AJ’s daddy ran to get the hose and I spent the next ten minutes hosing Caroline and myself down.
Too bad I can’t hose down the memory in my mind.
Or AJ’s mind. I mean she’s twenty-five. She doesn’t have kids. I think she may be scarred for life.
She kept marveling that I tried to catch it with my hands.
Instinct, pure maternal instinct.
I wrapped Caroline in a towel and sat with her while she drank a few sips of water. And then two minutes later she was as good as new, begging to go jump in the pool.
So she did.
And swam for the next three hours. I finally had to drag her out because I was afraid she was going to sink like a stone from sheer exhaustion.
Really, other than the whole throw up incident, it was a lovely way to spend the day.
Although I kind of feel the need to bleach my swimsuit.
And perhaps my entire body.
P spent much of the day mocking my hat. Say what you will, but octogenarians and hillbillies everywhere would kill for that hat.
Sunday morning, P let me sleep in a little late but Caroline woke me up in time for church by bouncing into the bedroom and gently yelling, “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!”. She made me a darling zebra-print photo plate at school. I told her how much I loved it and then she asked, “Now where’s my present?”
I told her I gave her a gift almost five years ago.
It’s called the gift of life.
Not to mention the times I have served as some sort of receptacle for her bodily functions.