Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Fake Pact

Shortly after Noé was diagnosed with autism, I made a fake pact with God that I would not have to endure children who threw up. It seemed fair - I had a long row to hoe with Noé and having puke-y kids would just be over the top.

And then neither of my kids ever threw up and my fake pact magically became real.

They NEVER threw up! A mom friend would lament how their kid had puked on their face in the middle of the night. Or another friend might apologize for arriving late to something, "I had to clean up vomit from the car." I would give them a sympathetic, knowing look.

But I was such a fraud. My kids had never yaked in the car or in my hair or anywhere! I could never admit this to anyone. I feared losing serious mom cred. I feared saying the words aloud would invalidate the fake pact. So I stayed silent. And grateful.

Mid-morning last Friday, Noé was at camp and I was frantically catching up on paid work. I had only been able to sign Noé up for one week of camp this summer and I felt the clock ticking on my work productivity until I could ship him back to school. And then my phone rang. I let the call go to voice mail as I had a strong suspicion that it was someone from Noé's camp and I wasn't ready to face that reality. A minute or five later, I listened to the voice mail, steadying myself to hear that Noé refused to drink water or put on sunscreen or was touching a female counselor's bare leg (it's a sensory thing, I swear!)

"We are at the Tualatin Wildlife Refuge and Noé just threw up in the visitor's center bathroom. You need to come and get him as soon as possible," the director of his camp explained into my iPhone.

Wrong kid, I thought. I'll call him back and explain that Noé never throws up because I have a pact with God.

After making the director repeat back a physical description of Noé, it was determined that he had thrown up in the sink of the women's bathroom (that's actually when I knew for sure.....he always mixes up the men's and women's restrooms).

On the way home, he threw up again in the car, officially making The Pact null and void. Twenty-four hours later, Ed and I  had survived our first stomach flu. Our car still faintly smells of puke, the house has been disinfected, and I'll never have to fake a look of sympathy to a parent who has just endured cleaning up their kid's chunks again.

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