Do you hear it? The quiet? I’m sitting here in my dimly lit office. Alone. The kids are asleep. Tucked in and peaceful. Hannah’s Ellie under her arm. Luke’s blanket corner in his mouth. Rooms are dark. The hallway is dark. It’s silent.
I never would have thought ten years ago I’d enjoy the Nothing so much. No music. No TV. No footsteps under, above or around me. No questions. No comments. No chit chat. Nothing. Only the tapping of the keys and the buzz of the printer break the silence. It’s so calming. So refreshing. So rejuvenating. So delicious.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not being alone I crave. My husband is actually sitting beside me. He pulled a chair in to this small space to sit with me. To be with me after being apart all day. But he knows. I need the quiet time. After the evening chaos of dinner time and bedtime. The routine of shouting to do homework, finish dinner, put toys away, get into bed, turn off lights and Go. To. Sleep. I need this. This time without any words. Only “being”. Time for me.
It’s so rare that I feel I can just BE. It’s one of the biggest changes I’ve found since becoming a mother. I recall laying in Central Park in the early 2000’s on many lazy Saturdays. Newly married. Happy at work. Satisfied with how life was going and where it was going. I’d lie with my rollerblades on my feet after a long blade around the park. My legs were itchy from the grass below me but I soaked in the sun, felt the breeze and listened to the buzz of New York City above me. Surrounding me. Energizing me. Yes, I had worries. Life wasn’t simple but it was mine. I could just be.
Now there are words coming at me from all directions. From my kids learning how to really USE their words. Sometimes use them as weapons against me. Sometimes to test me, push me, question me. And love me. Words swim in my head. Constantly. At all moments I hear my own words, my husband’s words, my parent’s words, friends’ words. Pulling at me. Pushing me. Challenging me.
I like the quiet. I like Tim’s hand brushing through my hair. I like the air kiss he just gave me. But I love the quiet.
This post was a part of Momalom’s 5for5 blog extravaganza. Today’s prompt was “Words”. I love Momalom. Go visit. I promise you’ll love them too.
It’s everywhere. Scattered about. Left as if meaningless. Like garbage. Sometimes I try to pick it all up and other times, I see it and step over it thinking, “Eh, what’s the use”. Loose change. Alone it really does mean nothing. A penny used to be so much more. A gum ball. A sticker. Good luck. But now, alone, it’s worthless. More a nuisance than of value. But really, when I stop and pick all the change up, the pennies along with all their silver colored counterparts, one at a time. They add up. To something.
It’s like so many other little things in my life. Almost meaningless alone. But when stacked up, one on top of the other, these things become overwhelming. Enormous monsters or massive joys. One small arm to the next monkey bar can go unnoticed. But two, three, nine monkey bars? The achievement of a lifetime. A shirt lying on the floor can be kicked to the side. Seven loads of laundry, clean but unfolded, becomes a hindrance to life. A moment of sadness from my seven year old daughter is a drop in the hat. But a full-out tantrum from a girl too old to be flailing on the floor, makes me ponder my abilities as a mother.
I tell myself frequently to live in the moment. Notice the little things because the joys are there. In those small moments. I peaked from behind my camera yesterday at Luke’s fourth birthday party to see his face clearly. To see that smile I so often see but don’t always notice. As everyone was singing happy birthday to HIM he relished the moment that was truly all his. It was not about Hannah. It was about no one else. Just him. That moment on top of his smile as each friend walked in with a gift for HIM and the moments when his favorite friends each gave HIM a hug and the moment when he achieved “sit/stand” on the trampoline all piled together to form a most wonderful day. For him. For me. Because I noticed each little moment. And didn’t look away.
At the same time, I often try to ignore little things. Because so often they come in the form of an unnecessary comment that I put it off to my being too sensitive. I ignore. I let things go. Let feelings pass. But these days, I’m feeling the weight of all the “coins” piled on top of my shoulders. The change is jingling in my ears. It’s dirty. It’s annoying. It’s sometimes too much. I have no use for it. It just weighs me down. But I’m not quite sure what to do with it. I wish I could just brush it off. But then, it would be under me. Dangerous to walk around. Left for someone else to do deal with. It’s made me realize I need to deal with each little thing. Say something. One comment is easier to handle than a pile of them.
This metaphor is wearing thin. I know. But it’s a good way to illustrate what I work so hard to do. Notice the little things. React to small moments. Appreciate what others might not. Deal with what might often seem to small to call attention to.
Because in the end, small pieces of change, can be worth more than all the millions in the world.