I live with four other females and apparently their daily word limit is pretty high. Not to mention that half the day is spent in school where their talking is somewhat limited. When they arrive home the flood gates open and they do what females do best -- they talk. And because they are young, they don't really understand the rules of conversation, nor do they really care about them. They all talk at the same time. While one may be trying to talk directly to me, the others are chattering away to each other or to themselves. It is quite the cacophony of sound.
There are at least three moments during the evening when I must shout at the top of my lungs "BE QUIET!" My mind just blanks out under all of the noise. At promptly 7:59 p.m. I am shuffling still-talking little girls upstairs to brush teeth and talk themselves to sleep. I never felt guilty about an early bed time for them. NEVER.
I have quickly become a morning person in part because the morning starts out slowly and it is the one chance in the day when I am presented with subdued children. Everyone starts out talking just a little bit quieter, if they talk at all. As I roll out of bed I can savor the silence. I take great enjoyment from being the first person awake in the house (it doesn't always happen--like today, at 7:01am I have three children snuggled beside me with the TV already on). When it happens it is nothing short of glorious! Now I can truly appreciate why my mom was always awake when I would get up (no matter how early), sipping her coffee at the edge of the couch reading her morning meditations.
When the girls where younger, I did one of those interviews with them. One of the questions was: What is one thing Mommy always says to you? J-bug's response at 4 years old was "Be quiet in the morning." It's an important lesson to hold on to:
We should all start the day with the blessing of silence. It gives our minds time to awaken. It gives us a chance to savor the sights and smells and small sounds around us--the sunrise, coffee brewing (or tea steeping, in my case), birds chirping. If we are starting our day with the volume level at 50 we don't even notice these things. We forget to be thankful for them.
I like to get up early to write my blog posts. I find I have more clarity in the morning. Inspiration is easier to catch.
I love words. I love to talk. But I value silence and I savor it where ever it comes. I think, because silence is more scarce in a family of female majority, I appreciate it more. I don't always need to fill a space with my voice. It took me until college to begin to learn that and motherhood has really driven home the point for me:
Do you take silence for granted? Or do you revel it in as well?