I suppose you could call it karma.
When I was a kid, I was a pretty sickly kid. Every year around Christmas, I would have an asthma attack.
Me being a kid meant I didn't drink the water and warm 7-Up I was supposed to; nor did I take medicine well. Oh, and I didn't know what it really meant when my mom told me to "cough it up."
And so, being as congested as I was, there was always the inevitable public puke experience.
I threw up in our local drugstore, in our 1976 Cadillac and on the floor of my kindergarten classroom. Anywhere was fair game until I was old enough to either run to the bathroom or do what I needed to do to alleviate my congested condition.
No matter what, though, my mom was always there, rubbing my back reassuringly and cleaning up after my mess. I always wondered how she could do it – I never thought I'd be capable of that compassion and empathy, particularly because I have a very sensitive olfactory sense.
Well, last night karma paid me a visit at Jasmine Seafood, our favorite Chinese restaurant in San Diego.
We were with our best friends, Bex and Ty, and Ty's parents, enjoying a great meal of shrimp chow mein, choy sum, orange peel beef, and Cantonese style roast duck. Our little daughter, Quinn, had a steamed pork bun, a few pieces of the duck and grapes.
She seemed fine, playing with her newly acquired Handy Manny tools – she brought Rusty the wrench and Pat the hammer – and chattering away, all bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Then she climbed into my lap, smiled, leaned forward and threw up directly on me – all over my black sweater, gray shirt and jean-clan lap. She actually got a good portion beneath my shirt as well.
I'll let you... uh... digest that.
The good news is: (1) She didn't make that heaving sound, which would have alerted other diners; (2) my nose was terribly stuffed so odor wasn't an issue; and (3) I apparently had little-to-no reaction, other than to lean her forward so Round 2 could be delivered on me as well. Other than a few soiled napkins, most of the damage was on me – there was no "Stand by Me" moment.
I carried her quickly to the bathroom, cleaned up as best we could, made sure she was OK and took her to the car.
The ride home was quick and dirty. Derek drove home while I sat in the backseat, holding Quinn's hand – don't worry about her, she was singing – and shirtless, save for a blanket wrapped around my midsection.
I guess you could call it payback. Heck, it's very likely only the beginning of payback.
The whole experience, however, has heartened me in realizing I'm more like my mom than I thought, and that is a very good thing.
If you enjoyed this post, check out my family blog, Childish Wonder!