WARNING: IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, STOP READING NOW. IT ONLY GETS WORSE.
She made it through the dance. That's the good news. One of our sweet little Nutcracker bon-bons, one of the ones who dons the drindel and crowns her head with fake long braids made out of pantyhose, was stricken with the vilest of stomach viruses, and the miracle is this: she made it through the dance, through the hot lights on stage, through the possible anxiety of performing. And not only did she make it through...she sparkled and R. and I watched through tears.
It was after the dance, in the green room (which has an oh-so-poignantly-appropriate name now) where, all hell spilled forth. Enough to drown a small country, like perhaps Lichtenstein. It was copious. It was tsunami-like. It was projectile. It was macaroni-and-cheese redux. Do I have to paint a clearer picture?
Now, I am not a vomiter. Not so much. I have a relatively strong stomach, and as such, I get sort of, how shall we say? Freaked out when any such activity happens in my vicinity. A secret fear I have had is that when the crisis arises, and I've known that ultimately it would someday, I would flee for the hills if either of my precious step-daughters should begin to toss her cookies.
But today I feel I have earned my title of step-mother, for I did not leave. Nay, I stood proudly, with my hand gently resting on Little Miss B.'s back. And while I did not have the sense to grab a trashcan, nor did I have the sense to step away so that my sling-back dress shoes would not be splashed, I did remain. And the beauty of it (and believe me that this was not what one would call a "beautiful" scene, surrounded by the children of Fort Wayne's oldest money [of which we are not a part, but rather one of the artistic "fringe" groups]), was that it didn't even occur to me to leave her. Instead, I did what I could which was to murmur, "It's okay, baby."
That night as I was tucking her into bed, she said, "Am I forever going to be known as the kid who threw up at the Nutcracker?" "No, no," I said, even as I flashed the picture of Peter Pentsos puking all over my snowboots after a 7th grade ski trip. There are some times when perhaps it's better to shield your children from the world's grim truth.