It's clear to me that I should not be at work today. Yet here I sit, munching on a chocolate chip poptart, a mountain of papers and books covering my desk.
It has been one hellacious week already. Grandma died early Monday morning. (And I wanted my first post this week to be a tribute to her, but *sorry Grandma* I'm too stressed and I have to let off some steam NOW). In between phone calls in the dark of night and Eliot coughing, coughing, restlessly coughing, none of us slept that night. Monday afternoon we rushed Eliot to the ER, Eli driving so fast down the highway that if there'd been any police around, he'd probably still be sitting in a jail cell. I've never been so scared, watching my son struggle to breathe, his little tummy pushing in and out as he used all of his chest muscles to draw in air.
And leaving him with Eli today so that I could come in and try to get my classes caught up from missing Monday...I should be there in the pediatrician's office with them now. But instead I'm here, where I forgot to bring my folder with my lesson plans in it, where the computer system in the classroom lab is on the fritz, where I'm more drawn to surf the web and read Yahoo non-news and blog than grade papers.
Where my first student is late for his scheduled conference that I dragged my sorry ass in here for...
But what I really want to talk about now is Anne Frank. I mentioned to my officemate that I'm more drawn to read Yahoo news than to do any work and that my brain is not functioning today and I just want to give up and crawl under my desk and eat that jelly bean. To which she replied, Hey, have you seen Yahoo news this morning? A picture of Anne Frank's "one true love" has surfaced. And I started singing the praises of Anne Frank and how I came to know her and love her (it was a book fair, around 4th or 5th grade, and Mom begged me to pick a different book, but I insisted on it, was drawn to the image of her face on the cover).
And then Officemate replied with an enumeration of the reasons why this picture is probably total crap, and in fact, Anne Frank's diary is probably itself a total hoax, etc.
Which is just more than my poor heart can take today. I told her not to dare suggest that Anne Frank's diary was a fake. I stamp my boot at you! I declared, as I stamped my boot at her. (Yes, I'm wearing snow boots to work, along with my little black funeral visitation dress. It's a lovely image, I can assure you.) Such a suggestion is tantamount to telling a kid there is no Santa Claus. Anne Frank is my Santa Claus! I further informed her, my voice getting louder and more shrill as I continued the boot stamping to demonstrate my childlike devotion to Anne.
My tantrum concluded with I need chocolate! and I made my way to the second-floor landing vending machine where I briefly weighed the advantages of Nutty Bars versus chocolate chip Poptarts, opting for the Poptarts, because they are A GOOD SOURCE OF 7 VITAMINS AND MINERALS.
So now I'm sitting here, sniveling, and wondering whether the chocolate smear on my dress is very noticeable. And whether a quick scrubbing with one of those brown paper towels from the ladies' room would make it better or worse.