The more appropriate question these days is not “has your household had that stomach virus?” but more so, “WHEN did you battle it? And, congrats on being on the other side.”

This season of the stomach bug has been a doozy. It takes a psychological toll while turning your insides out. It has flipped households upside down in a quest to rid premises of evil germs.

It’s run through public schools, private schools, day cares, Sunday schools classes, and whole offices of staff. It doesn’t discriminate, grounding small children and leveling grown men. It’s made Lysol the equivalent of gold bullion and my working washer and dryer prized possessions.

Last weekend, our son turned one. When the Grands asked for gift ideas – I told them crib sheets. I had met my match with a sorry lack of crib sheets when the stomach bug hit us hard. I vowed I won’t let that happen again.

The only good thing about a stomach bug is you feel so darn good after it’s over. You learn not to take simple things, like eating toast, for granted. How encouraging to no longer be coiled over a toilet, a pain riddled pretzel. How encouraging to enjoy life again.

I recently read something on Facebook where someone put out the “stomach bug has hit us hard SOS” message. It is a familiar battle cry. I really didn’t have much to offer except for empathy: I know the mix of anxiety and fear that follow when someone in your house succumbs. I know that the clean-up involved, is well, awful and probably nothing you have ever encountered before until now. I know that you will be grossed out and emerge a tougher, more grateful individual. If you’re married with kids, you will learn to appreciate your spouse and kids more, particularly when they are not puking.

But, probably the most profound thought I had for this person was the confirmation that sometimes life on earth stinks – literally – beyond belief. But there are no stomach bugs in Heaven.

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