I lost my voice. It sounds so negligent, like I should keep better track of my things. Like there's this big person somewhere who's gonna say, "Well, I'm not in charge of your voice, whaddaya expect me to do about it? Think about where you were when you last had it. Retrace your steps."
When I last had it, I was standing in front of a classroom full of unruly children, croaking out things like, "I have only a very little bit of voice left, guys, and I'd really appreciate it if I didn't have to talk over you." So much for that. My own kids are quite the same; they just view Mom's lack of a voice as permission to do all the things they have always wanted to do but kept getting yelled at whenever they tried. Now, they are free. And the only annoyance they may have to deal with is an occasional vision of their silent-movie mother jumping around, waving her arms frantically, making that little "pssst!" sound or maybe clucking her tongue. Sometimes she claps her hands or stomps her feet, pantomiming wildly. Easy to dismiss with a blank look and a shrug.
This is the second time in my life I've lost my voice completely, and it's so scary. In addition to my entire job (it's pretty hard to teach without a voice), there are so many things about having a voice that a person takes for granted. The ability, for instance, to shout a warning to your husband when the baby is about to tip over on his chair out of your reach. Or the ability to comfort your son when he wakes up in the night sick. Yesterday I had an appointment at the eye doctor, and even though I had my little notebook and pen with me, it was amazingly frustrating to try to communicate my concerns about my vision, and even to choose which view was sharper. And then I just felt rude when a woman said hello to me but then turned away. Or when David asked me questions from the other room, and I couldn't answer him.
I'm home sick with two sick kiddos today, but I sure hope by the time I have to go back to school on Monday, my voice is back. In the meantime, I'm going to look into some backup vocals.