A friend of mine recently returned from Florida, and it sparked a memory. It’s one of those classic memories guaranteed to make me laugh.
In 2006, I took the kids to Disney World in Florida. We stayed at Disney’s All Star Musical Resort complete with restaurants/cafeterias and swimming pools. We of course visited all the theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We also went to Sea World which was fabulous.
About our 3rd day there, Corey (age 11) and I (ageless) came down with the flu bug…not good. Bethany and Curtis were 17 and 15 respectively, so I let them take the Disney Tram to Animal Kingdom one of the Parks we hadn’t visited yet. They had gotten familiar with using the Tram to and from the various Parks, so I felt confident they wouldn’t have any problems. Which they didn’t. I only stressed a thousand times, “Stay together. If one of you has to pee, the other waits outside the bathroom door”. I’m sure they did that…😉.
Corey and I pretty much slept all day, and the next day I felt fine, and he thought he was well enough to carry on, being the little soldier that he is. I had my doubts, but worse come to worse, we would go back to the hotel. We gathered our backpacks and our Disney Go-Mugs we purchased at the Resort (free refills!) as we could clip them to our backpacks and get water whenever we needed, rather than buying bottled water.
We got on the Tram, where it’s standing room only, and the Tram takes off, and we are swaying and jostling back and forth…and then it happened. Corey threw up. All I could think of was, “We’ve got a spill! Containment, containment!” I grabbed my go-mug, ripped the lid off and held it for him…he filled that one, with only a little spillage and I’m telling him “It’s okay, you’ll be alright”. Curtis sees what I’m doing and he is on it. He grabs his go-mug, does the same. I grab Bethany’s and repeat the containment procedure. Curtis sets his down, grabs Corey’s and again repeats the procedure. Poor Corey…he was green.
Meanwhile the Tram passengers are looking on…probably nauseous themselves, and are backing away. One fellow, actually a few people, got up out of their seats and moved far away, so Corey could sit down. I then realize Bethany is about as green as Corey. You can tell by the look on her face she is trying hard not to watch and simultaneously think of something else; that or pretending she doesn’t know us. She’s not looking good. I know I have a few Kleenexes in my bag, and somebody on the Tram begins to hand over a bunch of napkins, thank goodness, so I can clean up what slopped onto the floor of the Tram, but I’m now holding two go-mugs of vomit, so Curtis hands his mug of vomit to Bethany, takes the napkins and proceeds to clean up the floor. He’s 15 years old. And all the time, he is talking to Corey, and saying, “It’s okay Corey, I’ll get it, you sit down, don’t worry about it.” The Tram arrives at our destination and everyone lets us get off first. Gee, I wonder why? Corey is now feeling much better and we wander away from the bewildered passengers. We start to laugh. I am dying, Curtis is laughing, Corey is giggling, and Bethany…is still green. I, of course, begin to make jokes about keeping our go-mugs, “I’ll just dump these out and wash them in the bathroom sink, and we’ll be good-to-go”. Bethany looks at me in utter bewilderment, “Oh please, just throw them out.” Which we did, and we bought water that day.
I was so impressed with Curtis. I don’t know too many 15-year-old boys who would be able to hold a cup so their 11-year-old brother could puke in it, while simultaneously reassuring them, and then proceed to clean up the puke on the floor. Total compassion. Total selflessness. Total love.
Curtis is a dad now, and I am often reminded of how he cared for Corey and think, “Well, he’ll have the flu-thing down pat”. Apparently, there was a few issues with poop in the beginning that were a little hard for him, according to my daughter-in-law Rena, but he is definitely a great dad.
The following day we went to SeaWorld and Curtis was not feeling well. I remember we walked up to a big tank of stingrays and Curtis leaned over to look in and then instantly whipped his head back and vomited in the bushes…the smell of fish is not good when you have the flu. This time, it was Bethany to the rescue. She went to the gift shop and bought a roll of peppermints (thanks to all her Girl Guide training), gave one to Curtis and he was instantly better. We continued on that day with Curtis popping a mint every once in a while and he was golden. Oh! And the next day we re-purchased NEW go-mugs…just in case.
“Just A Little Something” I giggle at.