Twas just before Christmas -- eight-thirty at night
the kids were still up, their eyes were still bright.
We'd had our big dinner -- roast pork and cranberries --
The tableside chatter was lively and merry.
We baked cookies for Santa; A plate we were fixin'
for Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen.
And for Comet and Cupid and Donner, of course!
And for Blitzen and Rudolf (who eats like a horse!)
Then finally (Finally!) the kids were in bed
and visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
Mike went to the kitchen and made a night cap
and then stockings we stuffed and the presents we wrapped.
The wrapping took hours, and midnight drew near.
Our cutting and taping was into high gear!
And when we were done, I wandered to bed.
I fell on my face and I slept like the dead.
And then at some point in the still of the night
We awoke to a sound and a terrible fright!
From up on the stairs there arose such a clatter
Mike sprang from the bed to see what was the matter!
Up on the landing, with a wheeze and a whoop
our poor little Gibson was fighting the Croup*.
He coughed, and he barked, and he gasped and he choked
like for 99 years he'd breathed nothing but smoke.
"Dad!" Gibson yelped, staring Mike in the eye.
"Daddy! I think that I'm going to die!"
Mike scooped him up. He knew just what to do.
We'd had this before. Out the front door he flew.
He sat Gib outside. Let him breathe the cold air.
But our Christmas Eve temp was incredibly rare.
Sixty Degrees! Oh My Lord, it was balmy!
But when you need COLD, well.. it wasn't too calming.
So Gibson continued to gasp and to wheeze
while I was in bed, catching up on my Zzzz's.
Not Mike. He was on it -- so lively and quick!
He had up his sleeve another fine trick!
He altered his course, his movements, they flashed.
He ran through the house! To the bathroom he dashed!
He turned on the shower and sat Gibson down
he watched him breathe loudly and said with a frown
"You stay here little buddy, and try to recover.
I have to go downstairs and wake up your mother."
More rapid than eagles, his footsteps they came.
As he ran down the stairs, he was calling my name.
"Rachel!" he said, "Gibson's a mess!
He can't catch is breath, and I think that unless
he starts to get better, we might have to go!
Which hospital's closest? Tell me...Do you know?
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the second floor bathroom I flew,
with my stress-level rising, and my blood pressure too!
He sat on the toilet, a miserable elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He was dressed in Pj's, his hair damp from the steam
which made the whole sequence seem like a bad dream.
His eyes, they were focused. His face was not merry.
His chubby white cheeks were as red as a cherry.
His poor little mouth was as round as an "O".
He breathed in. He breathed out. The air started to flow.
We watched him suck air in and out through his teeth
and the steam, it encircled his head like a wreath.
"He's better!" said Mike. "I think he's improving!
He's out of the woods! He can get his breath moving!"
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.
He gave us a nod, and then wiped off his nose,
and pushed himself up -- off the toilet he rose.
We gave him some meds, tucked him into our bed
and then I snuggled in to prop up his small head.
I lay there beside him, awake and afloat.
It was like a kazoo was lodged into his throat.
Somehow, after while, it calmed down to a whistle
and my sheets were as soft as the down of a thistle.
We all drifted off before dawn was in sight.
Merry Christmas to all! And to all a Good Night!
* Any condition of the larynx or trachea characterized by a loud bark-ish sounding cough and difficult breathing. (Doesn't that sound like FUN!!?)
Surprising no one
3 years ago