When It’s Too Quiet Around the House


Today is one of those cloudy days. The type of day where, even though it wasn’t planned out, I wish I were soaking in the salty ocean waters, watching the kids dig for sea shells and clams, and shooing off the seagulls who fly closely overhead determined to make my cheesy hot dog theirs. Okay, well maybe not shooing off seagulls (by the way, those guys can get pretty mean).


It’s one of those days where I felt more tired than usual and a bit lost. My husband, being the stellar person he is, undertook the task of wrangling 6 screaming, bored children to Wal-Mart and I’m here, alone.

In an unprecedented occurrence, I walked down the stairs without nearly breaking my leg on a small piece of Lego and after writing the piece about relishing my children as babies, I began thinking about the day when they all grow older and move out the house. They’ll have careers, families, or both.

Would I sound as mad as the Hatter to say that I might just keep the Hot Wheels and Legos and place them on the stairs and down the hallway to recreate the chaos that I would no longer find myself living day to day?

Perhaps, as I mentioned the other day, my oldest daughter is nearing twelve and my oldest son turned ten a few months back. I was thinking about the day outside my Grandma’s porch when she began screaming the shrill screams of a toddler who just saw a boogie-man. Her large brown eyes widened as her face turned from red to purple and I watched in horror as Grandma started laughing.

“She saw her shadow,” Grandma said.

I will reiterate that while I enjoy every stage of my children, I love the innocence and freshness of a toddlerhood. It is only in their wide-eyed imaginations that unicorns can poop Hershey bars and fart rainbows, it is only in the voice of my “Threenager” that I can piece together a stream of consciousness fit for a toddler, and it is only in their untainted and beautiful minds that a shadow could be scary or piling into a cardboard box and riding it down the stairs serve as an altogether safe pass time.

Admittedly, I was very uptight (and even that is an understatement) with my first two children; everything had to be perfect: birthdays, holidays, clothing, hair, and development.I worried so much that many times I failed to loosen up and just have fun.

By the time I gave birth to my third child, a curly-haired, blue-eyed little girl I was wondering if the local looney-bin had any openings. Luckily, I loosened up and realized that them little ones are more durable than I thought.

My motto quickly became: If nobody is hurting anybody else or themselves then what’s the problem?

Now, I find myself just as excited as the kiddies to go through the Krispy Kreme line, or watch the latest Pixar movie, or even to go on kiddie rides and slides at theme parks (some of which I have been kicked out of for being too big). I don’t find myself worrying to much about the dishes. They’re not going anywhere, trust me, I’ve let them alone for quite some time and they’ve never moved. The clutter? It doesn’t go anywhere either.

The realization that I have come to is that my babies aren’t picky eaters they are simply training as food critics, they’re not stubborn they are opinionated, and all the screaming (??) what of it? They are merely exercising their little lungs on the off chance that they might one day be invited to sing on Broadway or perform at Carnegie Hall.

The most important realization is that when the house is quiet like it is now and I find myself with ample time write without a baby sliding across the keyboard or a fight over which color of Angry Bird someone gets to be this time is that while all the clutter and dishes aren’t leaving anytime soon, my children are. They leave for school, summer camp, and one of these days they will leave home forever.

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