I used to consider this part of the cold much better than the raw tingly feeling I get in the back of my nose and throat when I felt the thing coming on. It was the feeling of bad news, of the sound of the phone in the very early morning when someone has to have a serious reason to call.
But more than any physical symptoms or premonitions these days the worst part about having a cold is knowing that I can't just pull the covers up over my head and wait out the weather; I have to get up and still do.
"Daddy, when you feel better we can go to the park, right Daddy," my daughter said to me about 30 times this morning.
We were sitting in our small living room on the first floor and the rain and the wind were still pouring outside and rattling our storm door with their force. I was watching a Disney movie with her and my son. My head was a little more sore than it is now. I tried to be patient.
"Sure sweetie," I said with one hand pressed to my forehead, "sure."
"Okay Daddy," she'd said each time, and then after a brief pause asked hopefully, "Do you feel better now?"
"Arrghha!" my inner Charlie Brown was shouting, "The kite eating tree has got me again!"
Don't get me wrong. I have the sweetest kids in the world. I love them. I love spending time with them. 'Why then?' I ask myself, 'Why do their questions hurt my brain so much when I'm sick?'
I know there's no other answer than 'it just has to be that way.'
We got through the day. My wife, bless her, gave me a break for several hours so I could take an extra Tylenol and rest. We set our clocks ahead and watched the storm grow less and ventured out at the end of the day for a ride to the diner for a cup of hot soup for me and hot dogs for the kids.
The house is finally settling down. It's just as well. The daylight savings hour will make the night short and tomorrow will be work.
I hope by morning I feel me head beginning to clear. I hope when I hear the kids chatter at breakfast I'll feel more inclined to smile than to shut my eyes and hold my hands to my ears. I hope I feel better.