Sunday, December 14, 2008

Down and Out in Virginia

After a late night of reveling in Fairfax yesterday, it should have been me that felt the pain this morning. However, I was up at the crack of dawn, and it was Becky who woke up feeling crappy.

As the boys and I got ready for church, she stayed in bed--her tummy not feeling great. Following our normal Sunday morning routine, I saw that the boys got themselves ready, brushed their teeth, and together we walked the dog. Usually, Becky would be showering and getting ready for church. But as we returned from walking Frank, she was still in bed in her pajamas, feeling awful.

She complained of body aches, chills, nausea, and other gastrointestinal distress. Poor thing. It sounded like a classic case of the flu. I told her to stay in bed, skip church, and the boys and I would go without her.

Reluctantly, she finally agreed, sleeping for a few hours while we went to church. When we got home, she was still in bed with Frank. Of course, this is Frank's forte! He is a therapy dog, after all, and providing comfort to the infirmed is his specialty!

The pair of them spent most of the day in bed as Becky battled waves of nausea and body aches. She never ran a fever, and thank God, she never threw up, but she had chills so bad we had to get a heating pad on her so she could stay warm.

Finally, as evening wore on, she began to feel somewhat better, able to take some Gatorade and a few crackers with butter. Frank continued his vigil at her side, and Luke was an excellent nurse for the day. I was so proud of him. When he got home from church, he made her a cup of Ramen noodles (which she couldn't eat), placed it on a tray with ginger tea (which she could drink), and brought it to her in bed. Eddie added his touch, placing a beloved family picture on the tray to lift her spirits.

Then, Luke delivered the tray--a task that he insisted on doing himself, his eyes welling with tears for his sick Mama. After delivering Becky her lunch, he sat by her side for an hour until she fell asleep. He was such a devoted son. It was really touching to see his care for his mother.

As the afternoon wore into evening, the boys and I decided to fend for ourselves for dinner. We pulled a huge one-and-a-half pound steak out of the freezer, grilled it up with some white asparagus and some oven-baked onion rings, and had ourselves a fine dinner. Becky, unfortunately, could not enjoy our little feast.

The boys spent the evening Picto-chatting with their mother via their Nintendo DS consoles. Luke gave Becky his DS, and then all during dinner, the boys would instant-message their mother with little hand-written notes like, "Do you need anything?" or "Are you OK?". It was pretty cute.

Then, this turning into an impromptu boys' night, I let the boys watch a little "Christmas Story". The boys loved the movie. Luke really identifies with little Ralphie, whose parents never let him get the one true Christmas gift that he really wants--his own real shooting B.B. gun.

It was during the film that something momentous occurred. Eddie revealed to me that he no longer believed in Santa Claus.

I wondered when this would happen. Both boys are getting pretty wise about the ways of the world, but we put off telling them, as this would mark a certain end to their innocence. They'll only be little for a while, and we wanted to prolong their childhood--just a bit longer.

But finally, Eddie came to me and explained that he knew Santa wasn't real. I explained to him that St. Nicholas was a real historical person, and that he lives on in the hearts of parents all over the world, and that our Christmas traditions would continue. We would still exchange gifts from Santa, even if they were really just from Mom and Dad. I also implored him to keep the secret from Luke, until Luke was ready himself to know about Santa. (Truth be told, I think Luke already knows, and keeps his knowledge a secret because he fears losing more booty for Christmas... but that is another matter entirely.)

Eddie seemed a little sad by his new knowledge, like learning that a beloved relative or friend was no longer with us. But I think once he still gets a few "Santa" presents under the tree, he'll get over it.

Becky is now feeling a bit better, though still weak from eating nothing today. Here's hoping tomorrow she feels well and that this was just a twenty-four hour bug.

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