Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Puking is a milestone moment not in the teen development books
"Is that Max?" Dave asked.
It was around 11:00 and we were in the living room. Sure enough, Max was saying something from upstairs. Dave went first, then yelled for me.
Max had thrown up in his bedroom. He said he felt better.
"Throwing up is disgusting!" he announced, and I agreed.
I ran downstairs to grab some water for him, along with paper towels and cleaning spray.
Dave held the cup to Max's lips as I started swiping the floor. When I stood up, I noticed a soiled towel lying on top of Max's dresser, along with a few crumbled baby wipes.
"Max, did you try to clean up?" I asked.
"Yes," he said, and I melted. Because even though he's a teen who delights in saying "I hate you!" he's still a sweet boy who wants to help. Also: It's always a thrill when he uses his hands—or does tasks—without prompting. Oh, yes, I am not beyond considering sopping up puke OT.
As I stripped the sheets off Max's bed and put on new ones, I thought back to when he was a little guy. It's always hard to see your kids sick, but Max wasn't able to say or indicate what hurt him or how much, and Dave and I would feel so pained and helpless. And now, here we were, discussing how gross puke was. And he'd tried to clean it himself.
One of the ways I always notice Max's progress is during recurring life events, whether it's our annual trip to the Jersey Shore, holiday meals with family or, yes, when he's sick. In a given situation or setting, I can recall how Max once used to be.
"No school tomorrow," Max announced as he lay down. "I'm sick. I'm staying home all day!"
Oh, yes: maturity.