Another quiet Saturday morning. The week flew by in a haze of kids’ sports practices, basketball games, last-minute grocery store pick-ups, work, school, and trying to fit in laundry, dishes, a brief shower, and perhaps a chapter or two of my current read in the moments in-between. Whew. Another week gone. A new week on the horizon.
I look around my quiet house. Damp towels lay on the floor of the boys’ bathroom. Blankets are strewn about the living room like a fort party interrupted by an indoor tornado. The cat yowls for breakfast. The dog seeks last night’s leftovers on the kitchen floor.
The quiet before the boys come back home after a night at their dad’s. As much as I admire the quiet, it unsettles me in strangeness. The loud is what I have become used to. One son in his room, playing warfare video games against his friends. Alternating between cheers of victory and bitter, angry screams of defeat. The other son quietly reading in his room or watching an informative YouTube video on TV.
Just the presence of my sons—at home, indulging in their pre-teen hobbyish delights—makes my home feel right. Alive with activity. Breathing with normalcy. A heartbeat of family, each functioning on their own, a unit of activity within these solid brick walls.
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Someday . . . the house will be quiet. Those little boys will be away, at school, or in a home of their own. With a family, an extension of myself, no longer decorating my home with their daily activity.
What then . . . How will I spend my days? When I’m not constantly running one kid to practice and picking up another with minutes to spare?
What will I do . . . When I’m not sitting in the stands, loudly cheering for the one boy on the court, who I deem the MVP of each and every game?
How will I function . . . When I’m no longer needed every second of every day? The constant “Mom . . . MOM! . . . Moooo-oooom” ringing in my ears.
The unexpected hugs, the tearful, overwhelmed, sleepless nights, the frequent fevers of youth turning into the independent slam of doors and constant need for privacy.
Those little boys turned into adolescents practically overnight. One more blink and they will be young men, maneuvering a world so different than the one in which I did, so many years ago.
How do I let go? How do I say goodbye to a beautiful handful of youthful years that happened to be the best of my own life? How do I accept the new role of a more distant, hands-off, here when you need me, but not constantly in your face type of love that seems anything but natural?
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These are the thoughts that interrupt my quiet moments. Perhaps that is why the quiet frightens me so. The constant ring of activity is much easier to maneuver than the quiet moments of solitude where one’s mind travels to undiscovered realms. The what ifs, whys, and hows sneakily slink from the dark recesses to the forefront where they can no longer be gracefully ignored.
Some of life’s most important questions have no answers. Or perhaps, the answers are simply hanging in the atmosphere, awaiting the proper time to reveal themselves. Clearly, my present self is not quite ready for the revealing of such delicate information. It will come. In time. At the appointed hour, when I am ready to receive.
Until then, I will sit in the quiet. Daydreaming. Wondering. Contemplating. And just when I begin to open my mind to the revelations slowly percolating deep inside, the doors swing open. The boys burst forth. The house is, once again, alive with activity and the beating heart of boyhood. Saving my mind travels for another day, I take one small moment to breathe in the chaos, wondering what wild adventure awaits us on this new and ripe with possibility afternoon. These times so precious, so real, present, and pure—I cannot savor them enough.
But yet, I try.