Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Zombie Elf & a Turncoat

Poor little Zombie Elf. He finally woke up from the anesthesia yesterday, and I brought him home. He felt dizzy and stumbled whenever he tried walking. After a while, he gave up and eventually rested on the couch. "I'm tough," he croaked. "I didn't even cry."
    "I know, buddy," I said. "You're amazing. They made you sleep for over two hours and you're the toughest little Zombie ever!" 
    Another voice whispered near him. I realized Doctor Jones, my two-year-old girl, had gotten onto the other side of the couch. She frowned, snatched a blanket and bawled. "I sick. I sick, Mama."
    "Ummm . . . no you aren't." I played with one of her brown curls before turning back to the Zombie.  "What makes you so brave?" I asked my boy.
    "I'm the bravest kid," he strained, wheezing, then coughed.  I held him close and smoothed his hair back.  "Mama, can you tell me why I'm so brave? I'm tired of talking. It hurts."
    So I told him what he tells me nearly every morning. "You're brave because YOU pet a real shark in California. YOU wear crocodile-skin boots. YOU don't even cry when you go to the dentist.  YOU'RE the bravest of the brave. YOU'RE the toughest of the tough. The cutest of the cute. YOU'RE the Zombie Elf!!!"
    He nodded proudly, then closed his eyes. He didn't even smile because that's a serious mantra. 
    "I SICK!" Doctor Jones wailed, quite disgruntled at that point. You'd think the Zombie's surgery was harder on her than him.
    "Shhh, honey. The Zombie needs me."
    She stuck out her bottom lip. That child has rosy cheeks, dark brown curls that go down her back, and a sassy attitude that never ends.  "I am sick," she pouted, folding her arms.
    When the Zombie Elf fell asleep, I moved over to Doctor Jones. "Baby, you're sick? Really?  Where does it hurt."
    "My toes."
    "Your toes?  Where else?"
    "Ummm. . . . My fingers?"
    "How about your eyelashes?"
    "Yeah!" she said blinking.
    "I have just the thing," I said and playfully scampered up the stairs to get a small bowl of water and a cottonball.
    When I headed back downstairs, I had to lean against the wall and smile. Doctor Jones had woken the Zombie. "It's okay. I make you better." She danced around in the stilted way all two-year-olds do.  She patted his forehead, held his hand. Sang and sang.  I cleared my throat and when Doctor Jones saw me, she froze for a moment, then sprinted to her side of the couch, and pulled a blanket over herself. "I sick," she groaned. I could just hear her thoughts. That wasn't what it looked like, Mama. I swear!
    "Do you need to go to the Doctor?" I asked her.
    "Yeah, Mama."
    The Zombie Elf's eyes widened. "No, Doctor Jones. They might do this to you."
    "That's good," Doctor Jones said. "I brave. I not scared of nothin'."
    "Wow, you really are tough," my Zombie whispered. Then he gathered enough strength to tell her his mantra, except this time it changed just a little.  "Doctor Jones, you're the bravest of the brave. The toughest of the tough. The cutest of the cute. You're my little sister!" 
    Doctor Jones giggled with pure joy. "I funny," she said. "I really not sick, Zombie.  I just brave."       

    Thanks to everyone for your prayers. I'm so thankful my boy is feeling a little better today. The Zombie Elf is sleeping right now and Doctor Jones is still watching over him. She hasn't left his side for even a second. 
  Also, thank you, Janie, for mentioning Homeless in Hawaii on your blog today. That means so much.