The Wife is Wonder Woman. There is no other possible explanation for her amazing abilities in all facets of motherhood and wifedom. She is always able to make our chaotic family of five look incredibly normal, usually while I am off in the corner, totally overwhelmed and quivering. I am not entirely sure how she does it, but she does do it, time after time after time.
It happened again on Saturday. She took what very easily could have been a catastrophe of catastrophic proportions and made it seem almost mundane. "Ho hum," she seemed to say after all was said and done, while several onlookers were left aghast at what they had just witnessed.
It happened like this: We were several hours into our drive home from Branson, Missouri, where we had spent the past week celebrating several things: my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary; the Wife's 3?th birthday; and our family's week-long contest to see who could sweat the most in the oppressive heat (It was close, but in the end I think the Baby narrowly squeaked out a victory over yours truly.) We had finally made our way out of Missouri and into Iowa, a smallish state which nonetheless seems to take several years to drive through. Everyone in the van was having a good time. Mommy and Daddy were having some rare quiet time in the front seats. The Baby and the Boy were near the end of a couple of long naps. And the Girl, who had emerged from her nap a half an hour earlier, was silently and happily coloring in the back seat. It was as peaceful and idyllic as our family has ever been.
Then it happened. A noise that sounded like a liquid-filled cough erupted from the back seat. Then it happened again within a second or two. I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the terrible sight of the Girl hurling chunks all over the backseat and her now-awake brother. It looked bad. But, in a flash, the Wife had unbuckled her seatbelt and hurdled herself over the middle row of seats to take care of our poor oldest child. And she got back there just in the nick of time, as the Girl was about to blow another round of chunks. The Wife miraculously found an empty bowl sitting nearby and calmly used it to catch all of the "stuff". It could have been oh-so-much worse, but the Wife's nerves of steel and calm demeanor kept the awfulness to a minimum. I, unlike my beautiful bride, remained frozen in my seat, unable to help in any way. I guess that wasn't such a bad thing, though, since I was driving at the time.
I sped to the nearest gas station in record time, which, in the middle of Iowa, seemed like about 10 or 12 hours. The Girl was quickly feeling much better, we got the car and the Boy cleaned up, and we all marveled at the amazing performance the Wife had put on. It was truly something to behold, even though I hope I never have to behold it again.