March 3, 2004

Sick Joke -- Sick Kid

Last Friday was my wife's birthday.

And being her 30th birthday, I really wanted to make it special. Now, I know what special means for me, but for her it is a slightly different story. She loves the party. The get-together. The social event. So I began to plan.

At first I didn't think that I was going to be able to pull it together. I am not much of a party-planner. But then I called upon her good friend, Julie, a.k.a. the youth Pastor's Wife. Everybody that was going to go to the party was going to rsvp to Julie, and she would then tell them what to bring. Nicole also volunteered to help by organizing the child care. And I convinced my good friend Jonathan to pick up the tables and chairs for me. Things were going good.

The day of the party came and I left the school to go buy some last minute items. Because of the traffic it took me longer than I anticipated. I made it home about 20 minutes later than I expected. I called the babysitter and asked her to pick up some McDonalds on the way to the house to feed the kids. We finally got on the road about 25 minutes later than the plan.

All of the guests were going to meet at the Church just down the road and wait for the van to drive by. Once we drove past the church, I knew that my whole goal was to take my time. I started by getting some gas at the friendly neighborhood Meijer Gas Station. I took as long as I could. I then began to weave my way to through the town, slowly but surely. At every turn my wife thought that I was going to this restaurant or that one.

Finally the call came. The babysitter says, "Son 1 just threw up." Through the course of the deception that I was weaving, we turned the van around and started heading back. The atmosphere in the van was full of concern, frustration, and depression. And slowly we weaved our way back through the town.

When we finally get to the house, my wife goes inside and and nobody is there. The babysitter calls from the basement, saying that Son 1 is down there. And even though my wife thinks that it is weird that her sick child is in the basement, she heads down there. As she rounds the corner, she sees a table with balloons, and thinks that is weird, but still she is looking for her sick child. She turns the other way and right there in front of her are several of her best friends saying, "surprise!"

Everything turned out great. The surprise was successful. The party was fun. My wife was pleased. But then it happened...

The trick to get my wife back to the house backfired. Saturday, Son 1 got sick. Sunday morning at 3:30 am I found myself in the van driving Son 1 to the E.R. He ended up needing an I.V. (which he was very brave during that process). And by Monday we found out that he had Mono. Today we also realized that he has a cold on top of everything else.

Last night I went in to see him. He was curled up in a little ball, his legs bent up underneath him. I thought he was asleep until I saw that his eyes were open. I bent over and said, "how you feeling, buddy?" Without changing his gaze, he said in a his shaky little voice, "...bad."

Oh, my heart sank. That's what I get for making my wife think that he was sick all the way back through the traffic of Lafayette!