It entered the house through the youngest and presumably weakest child.
She had it long enough to almost immediately infect her caretaker, the normally strong and impervious, Mom. But Mom was no match for this silent foe and went down quick and hard while Baby Girl youthfully rebounded.
Dad tagged in next, valiantly taking over household chores and responsibilities, struggling under the immense expectations, but managing nonetheless. The kids might be having chicken nuggets and Jell-O for dinner every night, but they were eating. He fed Mom a steady stream of pharmaceuticals to temper her misery. He, would protect them all.
He stood strong and tall like a majestic redwood as others fell around him, parents, friends, neighbors, until he was chopped at the knees by the voracious bug and the mighty giant crashed into bed as well.
Their hope now lied in the oldest boy child, too stubborn to get sick, too busy to sit still long enough to catch ill, and in the end too confident to bother washing his hands regularly.
Little Man began coughing, the first tell-tale signs. But he said he felt fine. His head started to pound – another indicator the illness was taking hold. But after some aspirin, he said he felt fine. He woke a recuperating Mom up several times one night with a fever causing hallucinations, but in the morning, he said he felt fine. He assured Mom he had no body aches, no sinus congestion, no debilitating aches and pains. He believed he would survive this flu pandemic that had taken hold of his house, his neighborhood, his community.
And he did.
That ugly bug took some shots at him, but he slammed it to the mat and said, “Take that!” He kicked flu butt and soon health was restored once again! As brother and sister resumed to fighting and playing like puppies, Mom rose again to take back over the house, weaker yet stronger for surviving, and Dad humbled by defeat vowed never again to let a virus attack his family so savagely again.
Next year – flu shots!
(Um, sidebar note: Except, that even with a flu shot, we all still would’ve gotten sick anyway since this strain of virus was resistant.)
Okay then, next year – Hawaii! Nobody gets sick in Hawaii! And if you do, who the heck cares – you’re in Hawaii!