Friday, October 26, 2007

quiet

I cannot believe it is quiet. Ten o'clock in the morning and the Little Mister is still in bed. (of course, that is because he was up at three, seven, and eight, chowing down food every time...I think it must be a growth spurt.)

It's funny how quiet has changed in my mind. In college, quiet did not exist. I had to learn how to live with a roommate who stayed up very late studying and, if she happened to be sleeping, talked in her sleep. Plus living in a dorm, or even later when I lived in an apartment building...sharing space with that many people equals constant noise.

The summers after college, when I worked at a beautiful camp in northern lower Michigan, quiet was escape. Working at a camp there is no such thing as personal space, so you have to make your own quiet time by sneaking off. (I don't mean sneaking away from campers. I mean sneaking away from the other staff!) I was only by myself if I made an effort, and if I didn't make an effort I went a bit crazy. (but as we always said up at camp, in order to work at a camp you have to be at least a little bit crazy...)

The first time the Sergeant was deployed I complained about the quiet every day. I had never in my life lived alone before. To break up the silence I had long, one-sided conversations with my cats. I left the tv on for endless stretches: not because I was watching it, just because I needed background noise. I listened to more audio books that year than ever before. When I played SimCity4 on my computer I tuned the sound up loud (usually it's muted). I spread out my errands so I could go out nearly every day. And I was very thankful for the huge number of free minutes I had on my cell phone.

And then the Little Mister was born. And I thought quiet didn't exist when I was in college! This was a whole new experience. I remember there was one night, just a few nights after we brought him home from the hospital, that he slept for a stretch of four hours. After three hours I woke up completely panicked because he suddenly was quiet. Why was he still sleeping? There must be something wrong! I checked on him, but of course there was nothing wrong, he was just sleeping. But I stayed awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, until he woke up an hour later. I almost cried when he woke up, I was so thankful for his cries breaking the silence.

Now that the Little Mister has gotten himself (mostly, anyway) into a routine, there are stretches of almost quiet. There are still noisy cats playing with bells, the German range nearby (sometimes the walls shake from the artillery!), people in the stairwell, cars driving by. The Sergeant is gone again, not deployed but spending some time in the field for training, so at night when the Little Mister is in bed there is a stillness. But I've grown accustomed to it, and don't feel the need to fill the silence with the television, even as background noise. I usually read a book instead, usually with a cat on my lap.

And now it is not quiet, because the Little Mister is awake and having a long, in-depth conversation with a giraffe.

This post was inspired by both my sleeping son and my bestest friend, who posted about a peaceful morning yesterday. Along with the meme I tagged her for. Here's the post...check it out! (note: it's a different address than i posted last week. She had to start over. But her blog is up and running now!)

7 comments:

  1. after I would put the May Queen to bed I would still talk all the time, as if I was talking to her (narrating what I was doing, etc) It was hard to get used to the quiet!

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  2. I loved this post and I could almost hear the "quiet" and then the people in the stairwell. I lived in Stutgart when I was in was in High School. My father was in the Army and I was an Army brat. I now live in Texas (misplaced also). I loved hearing your story and also being taken over there for a bit, to Germany once again (many fond memories for me) - and so beautiful. I'm Kellan - nice to meet you. See ya.

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  3. This is a lovely post. Of quiet. I crave the quiet sometimes, because of our busy household, and lots and lots of boys. Sometimes, when I'm not sleeping well, I'll get up and just sit and enjoy the stillness. It's so rejuvenating :)

    - Heidi

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  4. This post makes me realize (on yet another level) how much my life is about to change. I have quiet in spades at this point in my life. I'm ready for a little shake-up, though, and for baby convos with giraffes :)

    Thanks for stopping by to say hi.

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  5. sleeping babies....mmmmmm......

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  6. It's amazing how much more I appreciate quiet, now that I rarely even get to experience it. As a high school and college student, I remember not being able to sit in my room without having music on in the background. Now I crave every opportunity I can get for stillness and calm.

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  7. Just today, my mom commented that I never ask for music anymore. I almost never play music these days - if I have quiet, I don't disturb it.

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