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What is Your Favorite Quiet Moment?

For an essay I'm submitting that asks, "What's your favorite quiet moment?"

Being in a house with two kids under four years old, it is hard to imagine a moment of quiet. We've been operating on a 24 hour schedule since the baby's birth 11 weeks ago, and one can find us doing something at any time of the day or night.

I wouldn't say we are quiet people by nature. Both my husband, Andy, and I enjoy talking to one another, talking on the phone, listening to music and watching TV, sometimes all at the same time. We have a very noisy family and I find it incredibly comforting. My almost-four-year-old daughter has become increasingly chatty and finds repetition amusing. We start the morning and end the day with a series of repeated questions. "Mommy, what's your name? Mommy, what's Daddy's name. Can I have some juice? What are we doing today? Mommy, what's your name? Mommy, what's Daddy's name? Can I have some juice? What are we doing today?" While she catches her breath between questions, we hear the sweet coo or cry of the baby, trying to be heard amidst the rest of us.

Andy and I have learned to have mini conversations between our children's cries and calls for attention. We weave our discussions about our days and family business between bath tub splashing, feedings, diaper changes, pushes on the swing and potty trips. We exercise our memories by picking up on conversations hours after they were first started.

While I'm doing all of these activities I'm always thinking. I'm processing my new role as a mom to multiple children, worrying about my return to work and making mental to-do check lists. Even my dreams are busy. I always seem to be running after something, forgetting something and feeling so tired when I wake up to start the next day.

We have a time in our house, after lunch, called "quiet time." It's quite funny that I even try to quiet our household. I should rename it "Go in Your Room and Cry to Me While I Throw In a Load of Laundry Time". You get the picture. Here's my point: every day, even if only for a passing moment, I find complete and utter quiet in my mind and in my heart. Usually it happens when I'm carrying one of the kids and I feel her chest rising in rhythm to my own and her soft skin brushes my cheek. Other times it is more unexpected like when I'm at the dinner table and nobody needs a fork, napkin, drink or second helpings and I'm able to sit down. Or when I pull the car into the driveway, after the shopping trip from hell, and both kids are happily sleeping in the backseat, giving me time to unload the bags and just maybe pull a lawn chair up next to the car to sit in the sun, close my eyes, and listen to their breathing. In these moments, the chaos from the world comes to a silent, precious stand still.

There's always noise in my life, either from the outside, or that I make. I find my quiet moment inside myself when I stop thinking and worrying and I just smile at my not-so-quiet life.


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