During the day, I putter and I putter.  The novelty of silence after nearly fourteen years of constant noise and action still hasn't worn off for me.  For the first two months of having all four kids in school for the duration of a full school day, I didn't even listen to music, so lovely to me was this near-mystic silence.  The silence seeps into my pores, it sometimes feels.  When I run, I've even taken occasionally to turning off my Ipod.  I drink in the quiet as I vacuum, as I clean the toilets.  These toilets are - thankfully - quite clean, given the fact that boys use them.   A brilliant friend and mother to four boys once told me once I'd given birth to Jude, that she taught her boys to pee sitting down from day one and highly recommended the practice.  I followed suit and have blessed her in my heart countless times since. 

Mondays are my go-hard-at-cleaning days and I enjoy these days.  Cleaning feels therapeutic to me.  The ordering of my external world allows me to rest peacefully inside my head.  This careful orchestration of the world around me allows me to knit later on after dinner.  It allows me to read for an hour or so before bed at night.  It calms me.  I do have to sometimes remind myself, though, that my children won't remember my clean floors in years to come, or if they do, it probably won't be in glowing, fond memory form.  They will, however, remember that I took them out to Starbucks for some not-oft-had one-on-one time together, or that I took 20 minutes out of my day to play Uno or Skip-Bo with them.  These are the lessons that I learn and then have to relearn over and over again because at times I am so thick.

I run or do an exercise class or even the Wii several times a week, mainly for the joy of it, but also to combat my ever-threatening-to-expand arse.  I'm not one of those girls mercifully blessed with a transcendent metabolism, but I've learned a long time ago to stop griping about it.  And so I exercise.

I meet a girlfriend for a daytime coffee or something one or two mornings a week, though I can't quite stifle a feeling of growing guilt about it.  My brain is  hard-wired to task accomplishment.  However, I know that healthy people are in relationship with lots of other healthy people and so I continue to prioritize these dates and love them.  I've been blessed with some unusually wonderful women in my life, as I think I've mentioned.

I write for an hour or two each weekday.  I entertain deeply mixed feelings about the practice.  While I enjoy it very much for the most part, there are times when I wonder if I'm wasting my time in a colossal way.  Who knows if this book will ever see the light of day?  But I press on, because I know if I don't, I'll regret it for the rest of my life.  Today I began page 81.  I feel in my bones that I'm a writer.  I feel fully me when I do it.  I feel complete and engaged in an invigorating way.  Whether or not I'm to be a published writer is the big question.  Sometimes I hate what I've written, sometimes I love what I've written.  Sometimes, for the life of me, I can't think of a single thing to write about.  Perhaps this is normal, but I guess that isn't the point.  And so I press on.

Before I know it, it's time to pick up the kids.  When I think of it, I feel a happy anticipation to see them again.  Afterschool, they are brimming over with energy.  They compete aggressively to share about their respective days.  My four little extroverts.   Each day we talk about what our day's number score is (A ten is an obviously perfect day.  Anabel's and Oliver's days are most often tens.  Lucy is usually either a nine or a ten and our Jude - ever working toward being that 'glass half full' kind of guy - is normally at a seven or an eight.). Then we talk about what our High/Low is.  This is - it probably goes without saying - the best and the worst thing that happened to us that day.  The kids eat their snack and then it's homework and musical instrument practice time (guitar for my pre-teen Adonis and piano for my little ladies).  This is my second busiest, but one of the happiest times of my day.  Their joy fuels me and gives me courage to try to be my best for them, for they surely deserve that and far more, lovely little noisy people. 

01/24/2011 2:21pm

Let me commend you, again, on the amazing mother and wife that you are! You are certainly an inspiration and I love that your love shows so openly!

01/24/2011 8:23pm

I feel the exact same way as you with the quiet. I absolutely treasure the silence of the house when I am home alone and when I'm running I generally have headphones in but that's mostly so that I don't have to talk to anyone along the way. I usually don't even have anything on but just listen to my feet hitting the pavement and marvel that the world can be so quiet!

01/24/2011 11:58pm

I love your writing, it's brilliant! Sadly I don't get enough quiet, can I come over to your house and borrow some of yours?


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