Seven Minutes in Heaven

Some people want a larger home. Some, a new job. Some dream of lavish vacations. Me? I want seven minutes of silence. Pure, triple X, golden silence. I would take it in a car. I would take it at a bar. I would take it here or there, I would take it ANYwhere.

As I sit here typing, I have two children in time-out, one rolling a plastic bus over her own face and one clinging to my knee as if it were made entirely of Oreos.

As I sit here typing, the world is whizzing by my window. People alone in their vehicles. Alone. In their aloneness with alone thoughts of being quietly alone. I imagine they are looking in my window and thinking, “Look at that lively home with all of those bustling sounds!” and to those people I say, be thankful my house is not “drive-by and sniff” or you would be horrified when you awoke from your smell induced coma.

As I sit here typing, I try to imagine the sound of nothing. But, even in near quiet, a toddler will sit down next to me, put their mouth next to my ear and chew a Triscuit. When I flinch and run to the bathroom, someone will stick their face in the gap between the door and the floor and will speak in run-on sentences until I emerge. It’s not that I don’t love sound, it’s that I don’t enjoy the feeling of one thousand ladybugs playing hopscotch on my brain.

The baby is adorable in her endless noise. Even when she’s sleeping, she will put her face directly in mine and breathe loudly. Creepy, heavy, on the other end of the line breathing. Restraining order breathing. HEHHHHH HEHHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHHHHHHH HEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sheer strength of will it must take to create noise every living second. It must be exhausting, however, making the noise has little to no effect on the noise maker. It doesn’t appear to be exhausting. Therein lies the magic. I am exhausted. Exhaustion by proxy? Brilliant.

On some evenings, 2 glasses of wine in, I marvel at the talent of my copper pot band. Every delighted shriek that does not end with, “BLOOD!” fills my heart with joy and then fear and then joy again before the fear of recognition creeps back in that screaming is their language and I am the tourist that simply points at things with angry eyebrows. My jumbled sounds say, “Hay goes in a haystack and it’s ice cream for dinner!” when I’m saying, “I can’t hear anything! Can you hear the words coming out of my mouth? HELLO?”

It’s not that they are not listening, it’s that they are speaking Kid and I am speaking fluent Grown Up In Charlie Brown.

My husband plays several instruments. Currently, we have four trombones, the loudest instrument in the orchestra. I often wonder if he is trying to slowly drive me insane. Well played, sir.

“WAH WAHHH WAH WAHHHHH.”

I think about how often we try to reconnect by going out into different noise. The noise of our life becomes routine and we crave the noise of others. Dinner conversation at the next booth. The bar patron three stools down. Active listening on social media drowning out the sacred and constantly constant noise of home. Losing ourselves in the noise of others. Losing ourselves in the noise of the world.

I don’t need a day. I just need 7 minutes. One to let my mind slow. One to clear the anxious jumble of words, One to breathe. One minute to bask in the glory of nothingness. One to reconnect with the latent peace of my soul – my separate being. One to give thanks for the healthy children making the noise and one for making peace while beginning to miss the noise.

It seems so simple, yet, silence is the most elusive part of my day. I crave it while fearing a life without it. The push-pull of the sounds of home.

One day my knee won’t be as delightful as a sleeve of Oreos. One day, I’ll have all the quiet and less to write about.

One day, I’ll crave seven minutes of constant, chaotic oblivion. One to adjust. One to enjoy, One to embrace. One to remember. One to immerse. One to engage and one to wish for seven more minutes in Heaven.

Until then, we are living life constantly out loud.





Comments

  1. Oh I love this post!!

  2. My baby is huffing the stalker breathing in my face right this very second! It’s in constant disharmony with my husband’s snoring and keeps me up most nights, which is often when I read my favorite blog (teehee). The noise is constant, though. And yes, one day I’ll miss it. I love how you spent your seven minutes on each end of that spectrum – perfect.

    • And, she knows I’ll never even file the restraining order because I’d have to take her with me to file it and I’d walk in with her in the pack and they’d say, “Ma’am, you’re already violating the terms of the order. You’re WEARING her.” That would be embarrassing. I love that our babies are simpatico. Kind of like their moms. wink wink. nudge, nudge.

  3. I love how this is so awesomely true and almost vomited onto the page like a true brain dump. In a good way, like there could be a good kind of vomit, but now this is turning into a comment gone wrong.

    In other words, I feel you. I have 3 girls 4 and under who only speak the language of SCREAMING.

  4. I love this post. I live with five little people that make amazing amounts of noise. Right now they are all asleep, so I don’t want to go to sleep because then the noise will start again.

  5. I completely understand this. I had to work late the other night. A colleague asked, “Are you so bummed to be here?”

    Me: Not really…no. It’s so quiet…

  6. I am often jealous of my husband’s commute to and from work. It’s 15 minutes of silence both ways!
    Great post – all so very true. Especially the end about craving it. That’s what my mother tells me. “Someday you will wish you had people around.” True.

    • Isn’t that the constant struggle. Knowing so well you’re going to miss it, but, desperately wanting to miss it for just a few moments. I spend most of my days eating maccaroni and acknowledging my insanity. Thank you for reading and the great comment.

  7. Leah Casucci says:

    perfection. well done lady, well done!

  8. I have adult grandchildren. My house has become peaceful, serene–& TOO QUIET!!

  9. With regards to Elaine’s comment above, I used to have a 45 min commute to work and absolutely dreaded it each day. That is until I had kids. Then at times it was something I actually looked forward too.

  10. Yep, when the kids are here, I can’t wait to be alone. And when they’re gone, I sit and freak out about how quickly it’s all going and how someday they won’t be around. I know — TOTALLY healthy.

    Great post. You really nailed it.

  11. Amen, sister, a-frikkin men. I wrote about this, too. The week the kids went back to school. Blissful silence for a few hours. Then they come busting in the door and I’m glad to see them and hear them. For about five minutes… :/

  12. This was beautiful! I love how at first I’m laughing hysterically and by the end I’m all misty-eyed. Cheers to loud houses and noisy breathers!

  13. This is perfect! And so true! I have an almost 9 yr old an a 6 yr old…I can totally relate to every word. I cherish each moment of semi-silence I may get, but miss the noise too…quite the roller coaster this parenting this is, isn’t it? 🙂

  14. THIS was an amazing post. I loved every second of it.

    I have a 1-year-old, so it’s not that loud in here. What I crave sometimes is to be part of the adult world again. The Hubs and I don’t have family close by to help us out, and we haven’t done the whole babysitter thing yet. So date nights pretty much don’t exist. But on occasion, my mother will be in town and she’ll babysit so we can go out for dinner. And on those nights, it amazes me how much activity goes on in the outside world after 7:30 pm. It’s like an entirely different universe.

    Sometimes I miss that universe, but I know one day I’ll be a part of it again and will miss the days when The Kid was young and she was all mine.

    Because that’s what we do – yearn for what we can’t have.

    Loved this. Can’t wait to read more posts.

    xo
    Dani
    cloudywithachanceofwine.com

    • Dani, BINGO. This comment is fantastic. I also sometimes crave a “re-release into the wild” while acknowledging how quickly this time is passing me by. Is there a pill for this? Can it come in wine form? Thanks for reading, Dani!

  15. Really nice writing, I love this. I don’t have the same noise pollution with just the one kid. I do have constant paw tapping up and down my hallway, and always breathing (now one snores). But I know those days when it’s almost overwhelming, exhausting.

  16. This is absolutely genius!! I cannot even say how much I love your “brain dump” style of writing. Not being a writer myself, I don’t even know how to judge writing or tell the differences or catagorize or whatever, but I am a huge fan of the way you write!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!
    Also, “It’s not that they are not listening, it’s that they are speaking Kid and I am speaking fluent Grown Up In Charlie Brown.” BRILLIANT! I am going to share this…did I mention I love it? 🙂
    Devan

  17. Dang! Sounds like my house! I am with you, everyone can keep the stuff, just give me a moment or 7 of peace! Love it!

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