I walked in the door at 6:00am, put my purse, and gloves away. Took off my hat and boots. The cat came into the mud room to greet me and tell me how glad he was that I was home. The house was strangely silent. No laughter, no singing, no dinosaur growls. No brothers telling each other to stop it, no putter patter of little feet. No women chatting and laughing. Just… silence.
Our daughter and her family have been staying with us for the past two plus weeks. Today, I took them to the airport for their long journey home. Their boys are 5 and 3. The three year old reminded us of his age regularly. The house has been full of noise. Good noise. Good noise fills my heart with happiness.
The sound of cousins playing “keep the balloons in the air”, or roughhousing with each other. The laughter of our daughter talking with her friends about parenting and world events. Sounds of LEGO pieces being batted around on the floor by the cats at night after everyone is in bed. The songs sung by our grandsons as they play alone and then together. Children’s books being read aloud, grandpas tickling and funny comments about everything, bath time play, our daughter’s happy humming that just seems to bubble out of her with no effort. Kids playing in snow and seeing front loaders and street graders! These are just a few of the many sounds that I will miss when they are gone.
But, just like the bazillions of pictures we took, I will put them in a book and in my memories, and I will allow them to feed my soul between video chats, until the next visit, when the sounds may be a bit different, maybe a bit more mature. And, maybe not.
Although the silence is nice, so is the noise. Thus, the bittersweet. The silence reminds me that I am getting older. The noise makes me feel alive. I need a balance of both.
May you find that which feeds your soul with happiness to take you through the winter seasons of life.