There are days when as a mother, I have heard all the words I could possibly hear by 3pm and I am done for the day.
I remember years ago how excited I was when my babies began to talk. Both of them talked early and both of them have been talking non-stop since. I love to hear their thoughts, to know what is important to them, and to listen to the things that make them laugh.
I also love silence.
One lesson we attempt to teach our children is the power of Quiet. We live in a culture that is so incredibly noisy. We can barely exit our cars before we are bombarded with the sounds of our world whenever we venture out from our homes. Stores play constant music, while blaring screens chirp at use from each checkout lane. No longer do sports bars hold the license to display dozens of TVs around their establishments. Rather every restaurant has jumped on board, regardless of theme or type of food served, scattering televisions in the corners and blaring their own music as well.
Our local public pool, which is very near and dear to our hearts, broadcasts “Splash Radio” from opening to close each day.
Sometimes I love this noise. Perhaps I especially love it when Splash Radio kicks in with some 80’s music and I sing loudly, to the chagrin of my children.
Despite the love I have for the occasional hum of society moving along (and the deep relief I feel when we get the doctor’s exam room with the television), I know that my mind needs quiet on a regular basis.
We are attempting to teach our children to respect their own need for quiet. They are part of a generation who only knows a world filled with technology and stimulation. Their little hands want to be doing something constantly, their eyes desire to be looking at something all the time, and their minds feel the need to be entertained 24/7. They get the very loud message that one must have noise to be happy.
Yet we know the constant noise is not good for them.
In our home, we pause daily and have quiet time. This has been in place since my oldest started a nap routine at three months of age. Over the years, nap time has morphed into quiet time. This summer the kids attempted to stage a coup and demanded that quiet time be removed from their day because “no one else has to have quiet time.”
Their coup was unsuccessful and I managed to bite my tongue and avoid saying, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge…”. I simply told them in our house we appreciate quiet and quiet time is a part of that appreciation.
I failed to mention that I am a much happier mother after quiet time because there was no need to point out the obvious in the midst of a rebellion.
We also appreciate quiet when driving. If the radio is on, we have it simply playing soft music. We do chat some in the car but the kids also typically read or just stare out the window. Our family station wagon is outfitted with a DVD player and we have plenty of electronic devices to keep everyone entertained.
However, those things stay off unless we happen to be driving a long distance.
(No, children. Target does not qualify as a “long distance.”)
How do you appreciate quiet in your family? Do you find yourself recharged after a time with no noise?