The Upside to the Stomach Flu

The silver lining to being sick

When was the last time you spent the entire day in bed? Sounds decadent, I know. I recently spent nearly 24 hours under the covers… But not for any particularly glamorous or glorious reason.

A stomach flu hit me like a freight train. Completely leveled me. There were moments I was on my knees, arms wrapped around the toilet, wishing for death. Wish not granted, thank goodness. Alas, I am semi-recovered and, looking back, managed to find a silver lining: I got to spend the whole day in bed (when I wasn’t puking). This, to any parent, is a gift.

When I was in bed, I did not make breakfast, I did not find backpacks, and I did not pack lunches. I also did not go to work or check email—another gift. When the kids got home, I did not greet the bus, I did not monitor healthy snacks, and no, I did not make dinner. I did, however, watch TV and sleep. All. Day. Long. Despite my volcano-esque stomach, it was fantastic! I don’t wish you ill, but a day in bed is pure luxury.

And, of course, there was also a lesson. (I can hear my kids now: “MOM! Why do you turn everything into a lesson? UGH!”)

Yes, even a tsunami-style stomach virus taught me something. Remember that part about not making breakfast, or lunch or dinner, or packing backpacks or seeing them on the bus? The fact is, my kids still ate, found their own coats, packed their own snacks, and went to school—they survived. And when they got home, they offered to take care of me! Which really meant just getting me some ginger ale, but it was very sweet and appreciated.

As a parent, I often question when is it time to let go of certain things. Do the kids need the full bedtime routine, or will a prayer and kiss suffice? Do I need to fold their laundry, or can they do it? Can they make pasta on the stove, or is that still a Mom-job? So, thank you, brutally-horrific-devil-virus that ran rampant through my digestive tract. You helped me realize my kids can do the entire morning routine sans-Mom. When I can stomach coffee again, I’ll pour a cup and watch them get ready and off to school on their own!

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