It crept in during the night last Thursday, slowly whispering that my days were numbered. I ignored it, shook it off as though it was all in my imagination. Surely, I was only hallucinating the stuffy nose and the sore throat.
Yet my attempts at not giving it the attention it desires is only encouraging it. It is creating a monster- the kind of monster that isn't big enough to cause you to stay home from school, but instead is even worse. The kind that forces you to go to school unable to breath, grumpy from lack of sleep, feeling like you are a version of Darth Vader coming to haunt your students. And of course, in this case, you tend to act like one, with limited patience, no time to listen to readers working out new words, no time to encourage the higher level thinking you normally adore. You find yourself snapping "did I ask for an explanation?" or, "The word is apple. Check the picture" as though you are working with adults and not six year olds.
But it is the first of the year- either a credit to an immune system built strong from years of five and six year old runny noses, sneezes, and nose picking, or a credit to the fact that none of my special friends this year practice such habits.
Either way, it is here, and as I grumble to myself about getting ready for work I find myself remembering The Sneeze last week during independent reading delivered by a five year old friend. The Sneeze that covered my face and arm. His goofy grin afterward as his elbow snuck up to his mouth- the act of "catching the sneeze" all too late- he and I both knew it was meaningless.
The Darth Vader in me is not sure it will be a good idea to read with him today.