|Peg’s Christening 2012
Last week I was off sick with tonsillitis. A whole 5 days of laying in bed watching Netflix inbetween sleeping, eating ice cream and generally moaning A LOT about how crappy I felt. I get really annoyed and frustrated when I’m poorly about all the things I wanted to do but can’t. But last week I was on turbo whingy mood because it was Peggys 6th birthday. I had dragged myself through a climbing wall and soft play area party on the Sunday (thanks to a cocktail of paracetamol, ibuprofen, caffeine and sugar) before the crash came and I was in bed from Sunday night to Friday (give or take the odd bath and a trip the Dr’s for antibiotics). Her birthday was on the Monday, so I trawled through some paper work we had received from our local Coeliac support group to find a GF friendly place to eat (Bella Italia won in the end for parking and the fact it does her all time favourite – Margherita Pizza). Mum bought the obligatory GF caterpillar cake from tescos to take with them, I dug out some candles and off they went, all excited about eating out on a school night. I cried, before passing out in our bed with the electric blanket on (best Mothers Day present EVER!)
Looking back over my Tonsilitis trauma (drama queen) has made me think about Chris and the times he’s missed or been ill at special occassions due to an illness associated to crohns. Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries, Holidays, days out with the kids. One particular time stands out in my mind though – Peggy’s christening. It started through the night – Norovirus (picked up when out collecting last minute serviettes and a random stranger was ill in the street in front of him). The crippling stomach ache. Cold sweats. I said my usual “I can do this without you if you’re not well enough, it’s fine”. He said his usual “give me an hour I’ll take some extra pain killers, drink an ‘Ensure Plus’ and be OK”. He wasn’t OK. I went ahead without him to set up the village hall. Now the bit I always hate the most about this scenario is the next bit (apart from seeing Chris distraught and in pain obvs) – calling the Mums! Both our Mum’s spring into this military, controlled, “Right, whats to be done then” mode ….but I know they’re so utterly gutted for us all, and probably cry once it’s all over and they’re back at home and I hate doing that to them. It’s probably the same utterly gutted feeling I get when Peg comes out of school on the last day before the holidays with a chocolate bun she’s not allowed to eat. Or the utterly gutted feeling in my stomach when she missed a pal’s party after a gluten reaction. I guess it’s that wish every parent has when their babies are ill (even if they’re 44) that you’d take it off them if you could – that it could be you and not them. Anyway, I did the phone calls. Mums sprang into action. Family friend collected Chris ½ hour before the ceremony started so he wasn’t hanging around too long (probably worth noting here that, when recalling this tale of woe some days later, Chris admitted how much he’d freaked out about the potential damage he could’ve done whilst reclined in the passenger seat of a brand new Audi with full leather interior …in hindsight this probably added to the stress!?) In true O’Leary drama style the roads were flooded (of course they were?!) but the worlds most glamourous ambulance made it through the floods to deliver Chris to the church in time, leather interior intact. He didn’t make it past the door. Now this is where the tale takes an almost ‘Carry on Camping’ turn of events. A forward thinking Aunty and Uncle parked their camper van (complete with onboard loo) on the church driveway and it is here that I found Chris after the ceremony, laid out on the sofa/bed with my Dad and Uncle Mark contemplating the best way to do a U-Turn in the tight driveway of the church to hot foot it to A&E. We don’t cry much, but we cried a fair bit in the back of that camper. Tears of disappointment, frustration, heart break, anger.
Life isn’t always tears and disappointments though; we’ve gone on to get married (frickin’ miracle all went without a glitch!), have holidays, have another baby (Reg), buy a dilapidated house and renovated it……sure, there was Reg’s christening which Chris just made through the Church service before going home with another stomach bug but hay I don’t want to use up all my tales of “4 weddings and a funeral style” dramas in one blog post!?
So we’ve become resilient. Learnt not to promise the kids anything until the morning of the event, just in case. Accept invitations (with a disclaimer in the RSVP that theres a chance we won’t be there). Make bookings at places we know we won’t be charged for if we cancel. But most of all we embrace the good times and thank our lucky stars we’re here with our little beautys. If we’re all well, the sun’s shining, we’ll do an impromptu camping trip (because next week, when theres a camping trip planned, theres a chance we won’t make it).