My new blog friend Eve shared some insight into her passion for reading in her Friday post. I couldn’t help but recall the same fervor with which I read as a young girl. There was one particular paperback biography of Florence Nightingale that I repeatedly checked out of the school library. I read it cover to cover on numerous occasions. I would be so enthralled in the book, that sometimes I’d crawl out of bed onto the bare wood floor and pull the thin ball chain to turn on the closet light. There I sat half shivering in my nightgown while holding the book at an angle to catch the light peering from the open closet door. In that position I would read well into the night.
The book about a very brave nurse made me wonder if perhaps I’d want to be a nurse someday. As it turns out it’s a good thing I didn’t pursue the field of medicine, because I had no idea what a weak stomach I had until I became a mother. The bodily fluids I come in contact with on any given day can be more than what I am capable of handling. In fact, there are days when I feel as though I’ve been called upon to deal with more than is fair.
One such day occurred when D1 was about two years old. She was quietly snuggled in my lap. I held her close while talking with DH, and then she turned to look at me and seemed a bit pale. Looking down, I asked if she was okay. And right when I verbalized the ‘k’ in ‘okay’, she vomited.
Projectile positioned perfectly into my open mouth! I dropped my sick child on the floor and while pointing in an exaggerated fashion to my agape jaws not daring to close or swallow, I repeatedly hollered “Ing ee a owel. Urree!” Which loosely translates into, “DH, forget the vomiting child on the floor, she will pull through. But I may not! I have vomit in my mouth – vomit that is not my own!” DH, being a parent first and a husband second, picked up and caressed the still heaving and now crying-because-she-was-dropped youngster. It was not until he was certain she was going to survive, that he finally managed to grab a kitchen towel so I could attempt to mop my mouth.
That well-loved Florence Nightingale paperback seemed so dramatic at the time, as she helped ill and wounded infantry on the battlefront. But somehow the novel was not comprehensive enough to prepare me for nursing sick children at home, let alone sick soldiers at war.