Have you ever travelled somewhere, passed a group of people and thought ‘what is that smell?’
We were the smell.
On the way back from our first family vacation (my sister in law’s destination wedding), we were the freaking smell! The source? Vomit. The baby version of same. Of the sick kind. In copious amounts. Administered upon DEPARTURE (at security by the way so no turning back) . Ah yes, Name, family of three. Aka the smelly people? That was us.
This was yet another example that the Lord sendeth children to teach humility.
You see prior to having a child I was covered in a sort of mess too. Pride in all its glory was the ridiculous pre-baby
travel in heels, with new perfume, in new clothes and with the lightest most versatile and stylish hand luggage to carry my ‘laptop’.
Dem days done. Humility is traveling with a child. It is replacing the heels with comfortable shoes and sacrificing your Uber cute carryon for a grip that can carry enough baby stuff to keep everyone happy, and clean (pseudo) all the way home.
Thank God for humility and commonsense that came with being a parent. (I recognize that for some logic would eradicate traveling in heels from any clear thinking woman but I allow me to adjust my pageant crown and avoid this digression…. ..).
Clearly the hubs and I needed a dose of humility that day. God sure dished it out. Humility came yes, administered in the white liquid, all over our clothes, in the OMG like this-child-is-seriously-sick-and-Im-scared form.
Fear in among its most gruesome form is a sick child. I prayed.
Giving birth was incredibly humbling. I prayed then too.
TRUST ME You sure find God fast when trying to push a football out your punks.
The dance of fear and love is real now more than ever for me as a parent. There is no greater humility than the moment you are forced to recognize that, degrees, experience, liquid eyeliner and playing Mas in boots skills aside, you are not in control. There is no manual.You are a parent and, like it or not, a grown up.
Responsibility and humility are close bedfellows. Like a touch of salt on a ripe Mango Julie, humility brings out the best flavors of responsibility. The flavors that kick you into ‘running a red light when its 1am on a back street in Port of spain’ speed when you hear your child crying the ‘something is for real for real wrong cry’.
Responsibility makes you forget that you will absolutely catch your child’s virus as you suck snat from their nose (YES, you will) or clean vomit, in copious amounts, slowly and lovingly from their feverish body.
Respobsibility in its simplist form is sick baby kicking you in the eye their sleep on your bed and you smiling back because the kick means the child is healing.
Responsibility is packing the extra sets (note the s) of clothes in your hideously clumsy but compartment filled hand luggage without forewarning that your child would need it after his ‘vomitous maximus’ moment.
I’m not fully laughing yet at these memories. These experiences are notches on the parental belt and part of ‘adulting’. It’s a moment that every parent has in one way or form, just like we all, as good West Indian children, had to swallow aloes as a child and find a way to not upchuck cod liver oil or African Sea Coconut (wtf was that anyway!!)
I recognize that these humbling experiences are part of the parental deal. If I like the giggles I have to like the poo. Parenting is really shits and giggles sometimes (I giggled writing that).
So… To the travelers that stared at us in our smelly family group I thank you.
To the airport officials in Jamaica that gave us an entire hand towel roll to clean up the vomit with, we thank you.
And most of all, to God for healing my child, I thank you too…humbly and responsibly as a better parent….a sick and coughing parent but a happy one none the less.
Hugs and happiness or yeah and health.