Many years ago, before Jack was a permanent fixture, I found myself stranded, very late at night, with no way to get home. There were no taxis, no trains, and at 3 a.m. I was stuck. So I called Uncle Kenny, who at the time, was simply Kenny, and he saved me. For that feat of heroism I bought him a needlepoint pillow that read, "It's the Friends You Call at 3 A.M. That Matter". Years later it's still on the sofa in his living room, but it looks a bit dated, he needs a new pillow.
I'm now in the market for a "It's the Friends Who Stay With Your Vomiting Child That Matter" needlepoint pillow. But I need two, because if Uncle Kenny wasn't wonderful enough, he now brings Uncle Ed who also signed up for a Saturday evening with a sick child. Between back pats and clean ups, they played Bokus, drew pictures, and fed Mary chocolate, scads of chocolate, while Jack and I stepped out to a very abbreviated version of a very fun party.
We've never really had a babysitter, much less a babysitter who would watch the girls when they were sick. We don't have grandparents, we don't have family willing to just hop in and help out, but we have uncles. Uncles who travel 500 miles to spend time with these girls, time that was supposed to be spent at the park and getting ice cream, but rather, was spent adoring one healthy child who reveled in the unprecedented undivided attention, while caring so well for the other.
These girls are so lucky, as are their parents.