the flower fields and goodbyes

Saying goodbye is always a sad affair. It’s even more sad when the smell of fresh vomit is in the air, you’re 40 miles from home and you’re running an hour late.

But let me start at the beginning instead of the middle. And don’t worry – there’s a happy ending.

A few weeks ago we were to meet our friends The Madigans for a last hurrah in southern California. After years of living on the West Coast they were headed back east to St. Louis. Like so many of my firiends they were drawn here by the sweet siren call of GameSpy and we’d become fast friends thanks to our transplanted nature and the long hours we put in together building something spectacular.

We were going to meet at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad and then head to the beach for a relaxing day together.

In typical California fashion, we got a bit of a late start and then were further held up by traffic jams on the 5. What other state has traffic jams on a Saturday morning? (Also, if you’ve never seen it, please go watch The 405. Funny Internet movie that is locally relevant.)

Finally, after an hour and a half on what should have been a 45 minute jaunt, we pulled off the freeway and were waiting to cross the bridge to The Flower Fields.

“Mommy, I don’t feel so good,” we heard from the backseat as we waited at the red light. It was Emma and she sounded pitiful.

“It’s OK, sweetie. We’re almost there,” Marla said.

Emma responded with a gurgling noise and proceeded to barf all over herself.

Now, I’m not one that’s normally very squeemish but I have to be honest and say that I’ve never heard, seen or smelled anything quite so repulsive in my life. (Emma, if you ever read this I’m so sorry!) The car was filled with the stench of warm vomit – I thought I was going to puke myself.

Thankfully Emma is a trooper and was very calm and quiet as we pulled into the parking lot at The Flower Fields. We unbuckled her and got her marginally cleaned up. She was now feeling great and ready to take on the world!

I removed the barf-soaked car seat and was greated with a most disturbing sight: my bucket seat had become a bucket-full-of-vomit-seat. I take back what I said earlier. This is the most repulsive thing I’ve ever seen/smelled in my life.

I won’t go into any more details (I know I’ve already gone too far!) but suffice it to say that if you ever have to have a child vomit in your car, make sure you have leather seats. They clean up marvelously. (I shudder to think of what would have happened if we’d been driving Marla’s car with cloth seats.)

Luckily there was an outlet mall right next door so we dashed in and bought Emma a new outfit and met the Madigans. A good time was subsequently had by all.

It’s amazing how much better a little barfing makes you feel. (Maybe they should try that in Iraq.)