My two-year-old got it first, right before Christmas; a full-blown case of the stomach flu. As a teacher of little kids, I had been exposed to the stomach flu many times before, so I was sure I would be okay and ready to host Christmas dinner at my house. On December 24, I was so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed except to go lie on the bathroom floor next to the toilet. I had never had such horrible, crippling stomach cramps before. To make matters worse, I was newly pregnant with my second child. I called my mom who lived out-of-state. “Will it hurt the baby?” I asked after I had puked my guts out for what seemed the umpteenth time.
“No, of course it won’t hurt the baby,” Mom reassured me.
I was so lucky that my sister had flown in from California to was staying with us that week. She took care of me as I lay moaning in bed. The next day, she also took care of getting the turkey in the oven. It was her first turkey, stuffed with oranges and cloves, and it was delicious!
I tried to help the best I could on Christmas Day, but it was really my sister who pulled dinner together for us. My nephew secretly told his mother, my sister-in-law, that I couldn’t have really been that sick. I looked fine! But then just a couple of days later, he got sick. And so did just about everyone else in the family, including my poor brother who was still recuperating from a motorcycle accident in a nursing facility.
Let me tell you, without my sister, I don’t think I could have survived Christmas that year!
Jill Smoker’s new anthology, Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, provides a whole set of sisters to help with the holidays! From recipes to anecdotes to lists, this book will get you through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. I laughed out loud when Jill wrote about her son being thankful for poop. Let’s face it, any time a kid can get poop into the conversation, he will! I’m sure Crystal Ponti’s “Put-Your-Feet-Up-While-the-Crock-Pot-Cooks Cranberry Sauce” will be much more delicious than the time I tried to make stuffing in my crock pot. It didn’t turn out so well. I could totally relate to Sarah Cottrell’s description of “Ten People in the Grocery Store the Morning of Thanksgiving.” I, myself, have been the desperate spouse, known to run out to buy more wine before my in-laws can get another bottle from their already abundant supply in the basement.
Since my first daughter was born in November, I laughed my way through Alice Gomstyn’s “The Pros and Cons of Having a Baby Right Before Thanksgiving,” because lactating boobs are quite entertaining. Becoming a mother also means that everything changes, and Jennifer Simon’s story “Redefining Thanksgiving” is a beautiful reflection on how a baby can make the holidays even better.
The best part of this book, however, is that part of the profits go to Scary Mommy’s Thanksgiving Project, which raises money for families to be able to buy Thanksgiving dinner. To find out more about this charity, visit Scary Mommy Nation.
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!