I'm going to take you on a journey that will be both familiar and forbidden.
Intrigued? Me too.
The air is crisp. It's fall, but the early kind of fall where we can't wait for the holidays and for the first snow, and the first big rainstorm and the washing away of summertime. We anxiously dream of the first crackling fire in the fireplace and the savory taste of soup after it's simmered all day on the stove.
Okay, maybe you've opened a soup can or splurged for takeout, but the experience we're after is the same. Comfort, cozy and peaceful.
And it's just you and your husband or wife alone. No kids. On a Tuesday evening, you might spend an hour on the phone with your best friend, just talking about nothing. Or you might take a drive together, admiring the beautiful fall colors overtaking the leaves. There's quiet. There's silence. And when there's not quiet or silence, it's because you're deep in conversation about the future or current events or reminiscing of memories from the past. Everything in this journey is so savory. Everything is so sweet, too.
On the car ride through the rambling country road, you hear the music on the radio. A thought catches your attention, and you turn to him from your spot in the passenger seat. You laugh and talk and laugh and talk and days like this, moments like this could last a lifetime and that would be just fine.
In this season of parenthood where we have young children in our homes, there is no quiet. Our silence only exists because we've learned to tune out our too-familiar Disney shows, and we sometimes mindlessly respond to the "Mama, look at this!" comments or the constant noise of what our lives have become.
We don't take hour-long afternoon telephone calls from friends because it's hard to do that.
And to my dear friends, let me tell you this - I'm sorry and I miss you and I feel terrible because every time we talk I feel like you get half of me, and it's not always the best half and it's certainly not the most present half.
And we don't take aimless drives around the countryside, just because. Our car rides are battles in conversation, where I try to share a story about my day, and it's intercepted by flying notes from the backseat. Sounds of song, sounds of questions, sounds of excitement and sounds of toddlerhood. It takes what seems like years for me to communicate an original, grown-up thought - and sometimes I forget what I was talking about altogether and find myself singing along to the Moana soundtrack. I'm getting pretty good at that, actually.
But those sounds of interruption, they are peaceful too. They are the reminder that we are one, one family, one team, one piece of life's puzzle growing together. Things have sure changed, but they're better. The excitement of learning something remarkable, or the soft I love yous that filter themselves through our daily noise. Those sounds bring a kind of peace to our quiet, and it's one I want to know forever and ever.
Although I miss the long talks and the quiet times from what seems like long ago, I'd give them all up in a moment. Because where we're living, right now, is beautiful. It's chaotic and ugly and messy and sometimes it's dirty and there are germs literally everywhere and my house hasn't been clean in years (or so it feels), but those messes and sounds that make up our current soundtrack, let me tell you how much I need them. So much so, that when I'm away and the room isn't thick with all of that, I feel out of place.
Forever and ever. Peace, to my quiet.