Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Countdown to Ethiopia Day Eight began at 3:16am. Safa began crying loudly. Not a whimpering cry, but the kind that makes you jump out of your skin and begin running before you even realize your awake. She said, "I'm hungry because I didn't eat dinner!" in a sort of accusatory way. Like I just decided not to give her dinner on a whim. So I made her toast, brought her water, sat on the floor beside her bed and breathed a sigh of relief that she was feeling better.

She was feeling better enough, in fact, to not want to go back to sleep. At 3:46am she called again. I can't remember exactly what happened next, but deals were negotiated, promises made, and Erik pulled in his pillow and a blanket to sleep on the floor next to her.

I made my way back to bed fully aware I was doomed. If you read this blog even occasionally you know I'm an insomniac. Now, an adrenaline rush coupled with a mind on fire, doesn't equal restful sleep. But sometime shortly after 4:30am, I found it. But at 5:23am I hear a child crying in the airlock. (This is what we call the long hallway in our bedroom. It has some magical quality that renders a child unable to pass completely through into our bedroom.) It was Ava.

"What's wrong, honey?"
"I feel sick."
"How do you feel sick."
"My belly hurts and my body feels heavier than it normally should."

I was impressed with that description and knew exactly what she meant. I let her crawl into Erik's side and we both tried to reach out to Mistress Sleep, but she slapped us both on the face, then spit in my hair. At 6:10 we stumbled to the living room.

Ava threw up at 8:42am, 9 seconds after Erik woke me from a deep nap. It can't be good to have to nap at 8:00 am.

She stayed home from school. I had so many errands to run this morning, but I stayed home, tended my feverish, nauseous girl. Did load after load of laundry. Closed all the curtains, ducked and hid from the yard hippies that we paid to pillage our yard. Canceled my laser hair removal appointment. A little beard on a woman looks nice anyway. It says you aren't pretentious.

I did everything I could possibly think of that I could do at home to prepare for the trip in between cleaning up vomit and playing with Safa. A friend picked Eden up from school. Another took her to and from dance class.

In anticipation of getting this virus, I didn't eat much dinner to speak of last night. Ate a liquid breakfast, very little lunch. All too recently I experienced the ravages of a stomach virus that brought me to my knees, and I'm scared. I have taken so many garlic/olive leaf capsules to ward off illness I'm starting to smell like pesto.

But things have changed over the course of this day. Tonight is the "Lost" season premiere. I will watch it with Erik eating a burger and fries while nursing the second best chocolate milkshake in town.

If I have to vomit it all back up a few hours later, so be it. If I'm going down, I'm going down in a blaze of glory.

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