During Quiet Time, sprouts often come up to offer hugs, ask for their shoes to be tied, or whisper sweet nothings (‘I love you,’ ‘You’re my friend,’ and ‘You’re the best teacher in the word’ are some of my favorites). Sometimes, when they all have something to share, a small line forms. They stand quietly waiting their turn for a little one on one attention and then go back to their seats.

The other day, Sarah was standing off to the side while I tied some shoes. She waited for about three or four minutes in complete silence. Sarah is one of the sweetest little girls I’ve met. She has a quiet and gentle nature about her… oh and she sounds like her nose is perpetually stuffed. I’ve come to believe that’s just how she sounds because nobody has a cold for over eight months.

As Sarah approached me, I was expecting a hug. With her calm nature, she usually doesn’t say anything during Quiet Time, even when visiting me. She typically just offers a sincere hug and smile and then returns to her seat. After waiting for what I imagine seems like an eternity for a five-year-old, she walked up to me, her face only a few inches from mine and… coughed.

It was a loud cough. Despite our constant teaching and reviewing of how to cover your mouth (with the inside of your elbow), she made no effort to cover her mouth or shield me from her germs. Basically, she held that cough in just for me. She did give me a warm hug afterwards, but the cough seemed to linger. I love the gifts my sprouts offer up on a daily basis, but this was one I would have gladly done without.