“That” Time of Year

  ginger ale“It’s cold out this morning

You should be getting into bed

Can’t believe it’s that time of year again”

~Sick Puppies

To me,  “That” time of year refers to the time of year when you walk into The Dreaded Wal Mart and the first thing on display are green bottles of ginger ale and boxes of saltine crackers that look like a game of  Jenga in progress. It’s the time of year when your family gets invaded by a bug and it goes through your house like wildfire. You know what I’m talkin’ bout. Rumors of it circulate quicker than the latest gossip. People talk in hushed whispers about having had it, knowing full well they will be banished to the Quarantine Corner if anyone gets wind that they may be contagious. News of it sends us into a frenzy of alternating between hand sanitizer and Clorox disinfecting wipes.

It’s the Dreaded Stomach Flu.

Dun dun dun!

One thing I have grown to learn as a Universal Truth is the last one in the family to get the stomach virus, typically gets it the worse. I say that now from the catbird seat, watching the rest of my family stumble down the Road of Recovery, not quite well, not exactly sick anymore, but somewhere in-between. Paranoia rumbles in my tummy as the duel continues in my mind: I don’t have it / yes, I do.


Let’s face it. It’s statistically inevitable that I’m gonna get sick and we all know there ain’t no cure for the Stomach Flu.

If there was a Stomach Flu shot, I’d be the very first in line to get one each and every year.

And I don’t do needles.

My twelve year old has become my third leg, never wanting to leave my side during this epidemic (The Dreaded Wal Mart allows me to call it an epidemic with their display). I know he expects me to somehow make it magically go away and I would if  I could but all I can really do is assure him that it will be over soon and nag him to take little sips of his ginger ale and tiny bites of his crackers.

My teenager, on the other hand,  is very laissez faire when it comes to anything involving his mother.

Unless of course he needs, say, the keys to the car.

So he has kept pretty much to himself these past couple of days, only groaning at my suggestion to avoid dehydration by taking little sips of water (he doesn’t do Ginger Ale) and little bites of his crackers.

And that was where I made my cardinal mistake while sitting in the catbird seat.

What I should have said was “Honey, don’t eat or drink ANYTHING and you’ll be fine.”

Silly me to have forgotten teenagers need a whole lot of reverse psychology to get them through sick days, well days, and frankly any days that end in “y”.

Eventually, my family recovered from the Dreaded Stomach Flu.  I knew we were in the clear when my sons resumed fighting. I scoured everything with bleach like a cleaner in a mob movie. I disinfected our house top to bottom. I was spared this time but I am fully aware that the Stomach Flu lurks year round and does not discriminate.

But for now, we’re good to go.

Until the next time…


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