By Pat LaPointe. This COVID-era essay first appeared on Story Circle Network.
“Please, God. Make them quit crying” was my prayer as one preemie twin would wail, and the other twin soon join her in her less-than-melodious sounds.
“Can’t you all quit yelling and fighting with each other for a minute?” was my plea the many times when my four girls were fighting. “I can’t even think.”
“Can’t you take turns talking? It just sounds like a bunch of noise when you all talk at once.”
These were the times, when my children were growing up, when I’d give anything for some quiet. If I knew then what I know now, I would have cherished those times.
The girls are all adults now with children of their own. It’s interesting that I could tolerate the grandkids yelling and their bursts of chattiness, giggles, and roars of laughter when they were young.
But now, when all must be quiet, it hurts. I long to hug and kiss the grandchildren. Phone call, texts, and the rare video visits are far from satisfying. And the quiet after these contacts is deafening.
And, for the first time in forty years of marriage, my husband and I are together all day and night. What we thought would be an opportunity to share more thoughts and tasks, has not happened. We each go to our home office and work all day. Silence is broken by: ”What do you want for dinner?” and “Did you feed the dog, turn down the heat, lock the doors?” Is it possible we’ve run out of things to say?
We can sanitize everything, wash our hands until they feel like sandpaper, and keep our social distance. But what we really want is sound, blissful sound.
A needed reminder to cherish every moment. Lovely piece.
My wife and I still have lots of “noise” in our lives from grandkids and extended family, but some of them are on the edge of adulthood and contact is winding down. This is a great reminder not to wish it all away too soon!