It's a good thing I am not a superstitious person.
It's the night before we're to head off to Europe for eight weeks and E. is doing much better. Her fever is down to a manageable 101 and she's a lot perkier. Of course, that could just be the popsicles and watermelon talking, but I'm pleased in any case.
The girls are in bed, the bags are all packed (all six of them), and I am finally excited. I hope that my high school French classes are going to pay off and I can sit in a Parisian cafe and order cafe au lait and eclairs like a native. S. and I sit downstairs watching television but not paying attention. We're discussing our plan.
"E's head will explode if we try to do too much."
"Let's expect to do not much of anything the first three days and if we get over the jet lag sooner, that will be a bonus."
"I can't wait to see our apartment and shop in the markets."
"Where are the passports and tickets?"
Something in S's face is off. It hasn't been a hot day, but he's got a sheen about him. His eyes are darting, not focusing in one spot for very long. Usually the calm center of this whirlpool, he's looking as though he's accidentally stuck a limb out and gotten caught up in the swirling waters. Is he nervous about traveling with the kids? He is the most well-seasoned traveler I know, having been to nearly every country in the world by the time he was 30.
"Be right back," he says, falsely cheerful. "I need some fresh air."
As the back sliding door closes I sit up straight, fluttering in my chest, ears flattened against my head to hear what's going on out there.
"Brrrrhaaaa," he throws up violently. I stop taking breaths - they're too loud in my ears. I have to hear.
"Brrrrhaaaa," again, into the bushes in the backyard. I wait a few minutes. I know if I go out there he'll be embarassed.
The slider opens and I hear his strong stride across the hardwood floor. I cock my head to the side, not wanting to meet his eyes but knowing that from behind me he can sense my question.
"Oookay! I'm feeling better now." He really sounds fine.
"Ready for bed?" he asks as if he hasn't just coated our shrubs in his regurgitated dinner.
"What was that?" I'm not ready to let this go. Especially not after E's trip to the ER yesterday. "Are you okay? Sounded like some pretty fierce yakking out there, dude."
"I'm fine. Just tired. You know me - I always feel better after throwing up. Let's get to bed. We've got a long day tomorrow." He offers his hand to me with a twinkle in his eye and I'm reassured. We're all tired. We need this vacation.