I had to laugh this morning at all the forces of the universe conspiring against me as I tried to accomplish a huge goal in my life - to play the piano in sacrament meeting. Yes, I was just accompanying the Primary kids singing Teach Me to Walk in the Light, but it was a BIG deal for me and I wasn't going to let anything get in my way. However, it almost didn't happen.
I took the kids on a quick trip to Burley this weekend to see my brother Aaron perform his Senior Recital. I can't go to his graduation, so I was determined to go and be a part of this, even if I had to take the kids myself and be there less than 24 hours. We had a great time, and of course got a late start on the journey home Saturday night. But I had to be back to play the piano in our 9 am sacrament meeting, so staying wasn't an option.
I packed up the kids and pulled out of my parents' driveway at about 7 pm. Luke had been complaining that he didn't feel good, but I was hoping he was just making it up. My mom sent him with a barf bag just to be sure. As we drove past the rest area near, well, nowhere, on I-84, Dallin yelled, "Mom, Luke is barfing all over everything and it's not in the bag!" It was true. Luke had barfed all over himself and the entire backseat and not a speck of it had gone in the bag. I pondered that mystery during the unpleasant 15 minutes to the gas station in Snowville, where I got him out and started to brush the contents of his stomach off his clothes. At this point I got a whiff of something else. Something worse.
"Luke, did you....?" "No, Mom, I swear I didn't!" I checked his pants, and yes, he did. Poor little fellow didn't even realize that when he was throwing up, he was also... throwing down, as we like to put it delicately. Now that presents a problem when you are at a gas station with no other adult and three other kids. I've already given you more detail than perhaps I should have, so I will stop there and just say that I took him in to the bathroom with a pack of wet wipes and prayed that the other kids would not be victimized in any way by the rif raf in the parking lot of the greasiest Flying J in the nation. I considered taking them all in with me, but the bathroom is small and what would I do with Jake while I performed the necessary but horrific actions that would be required of me? We would end up with even more germs than we already had. It worked out in the end, and we continued on our journey without further incident, arriving home just after 11:30 pm. I unpacked the barf-filled vehicle and prayed that no one else would get sick.
This morning I was up early, freshly showered and ready to practice the piano and conquer my fear of playing in sacrament meeting. Abby came in to my bathroom and sat on the potty. A moment later I could hear the choking and gagging noise that mothers know all too well. I grabbed her off the toilet and spun her around. She successfully barfed into the toilet and I congratulated myself on a job well done and further cleanup avoided. It was at this moment that I was aware of a warm sensation on my feet. You will remember that her pajamas were around her ankles at the time. I looked down and had a realization that would ruin any Mother's Day, I don't care who you are. While she was throwing up, she was also... throwing down. All over the floor and my bare feet. Shall I say it again? All over my bare feet. Less than an hour before I was to conquer my fears and become a new person, all on Mother's Day.
I did the only thing I could do. I looked heavenward and called for help. My cry was answered by Jason, who came in, surveyed the scene, and asked in a horrified voice, "What do you want me to do?" I could only croak out a small, "I don't know." Then he left.
I cleaned up the crime scene, disinfected my feet and went to church, unpracticed and unabashed. When the time came for the Primary children to sing I marched to the front, hid at the piano behind all the standing kids, and played the song. I didn't make any mistakes until the third verse when I started thinking, "Hey, this is fun! I'm really good at this! Why was I so scared?" and lost my place and played three wrong notes. I don't think anybody noticed because the kids and moms were all singing together and apparently getting emotional from the wonderfulness of it all. I'm proud to say I was a part of it and I didn't let nerves, barf or shiz get in my way.