This morning, Lily woke up and puked.

Lily is fine. Chloe puked the day before. Mike is probably going to puke. Maybe, if God really wants to make me feel secure, I'll puke before noon.

God really is that good.

And when I say Lily is fine, it is on our eff-ed-up-brain-tumor-life-death-shunt-meningitis-infused standards.

Four years ago, when Lily puked it meant her shunt could be malfunctioning and she could need brain surgery. It meant she could have meningitis. It meant that a tumor could be growing.

But today, it means her stomach is upset, not her brain. Today, it means pedialite instead of an IV cocktail of steroids, electrolytes and antibiotics. Today, it means I rejoice in a family of stomach viruses. Today, I joyfully Lysol the toilet.

Today, it means Lily is a little girl with a belly ache.

Despite God's backhanded assurances via communal puking, morning puking always disrupts the time-space continuum for me. One morning of Lily vomiting, one slight gag and I am Alice tumbling right back into freaking hell.

It all rushes back. I used to cry and pace during the rush, trying to stop my descent into the madness. More recently, I shut down and sit quietly. I let the entire "thing" flash before my eyes.

So here it is, today's flash:

The weeks before Lily's diagnosis. The mornings of hearing her puke on the baby monitor. My frustration at the pediatrician (really, a month-long bladder infection?). My frustration at Lily (please stop puking, I have a deadline at my stupid job.). My fear (more accurately the bone chilling, cold sweat inducing terror that my baby would die.). The month at CHOP. The weeks in Houston, giving Lily a midnight bottle in her crib, because she would not be allowed to eat until noon the next day. Waking up every single morning, tying our shoes, brushing our teeth, changing Lily's diaper, then handing her over to Dr. Woo and crew to have her sedated and to have radiation aimed at her beautiful brain.

It is so abnormal. It is not what we signed up for. I signed up for mornings spent dropping Lily off at daycare. Afternoons spent rushing to pick her up. Evening dates with Mike. Weekends at the pool or the pumpkin patch. I signed up for the toughest moment and biggest parenting challenge to be the first time she took a sip of alcohol or when her best friend stole her boyfriend.

But for right now, I let the normal wash over me. Puke. Belly aches. Emergency trips to the potty. Little slices of normal. And one day, the normal may stop of the rush of the abnormal. But for now, I pick up my Lysol, wash the sheets and thank God for germs.


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