This morning the Husband took off to the movie theater with all three kids. It was bliss. He left me at home alone winking and nudging me towards my sewing machine where my half finished diaper bag is sitting.
I have to admit that I didn't get to my sewing project right away. I spent some time working on my lesson for Sunday School. I took my time getting ready for the day. I laid down and took a 15 minute snoozer. It was wonderful.
I reveled in the silence. I deliberately didn't turn on the TV or the radio (or the playlist, or the ipod, or the computer). I didn't want noise. I wanted the silence. It was a welcome silence.
After an hour alone, I began work on my project. I started thinking about all the things that I've learned since I've been married and become a mother. Lots of things. Too many to list here. I concluded with the thought that, even though I don't know everything, and I am not perfect, I like me. I think I'm a pretty nice person.
After two hours alone in silence, I started remembering how I used to get to sit in silence all the time. Back in the day when I was a young English Major, I had to read an average of 300-400 pages a day to keep up with my classes. I learned to skim. For a few semesters in there, I also worked 39 1/2 hours a week, so I did all my homework for the coming week on the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least, Sunday was for worship). That meant that Friday and Saturday I spent a lot of time at the library. Like 8 hours camped at the same desk, packed a lunch and hunkered down time at the library. That was a lot of silent time. That was a lot of time with just me, inside my head, reading, learning, thinking...finding me. I didn't even know what a gem that was when I had it. What I would give to have those times back....
but then again, as hour two of my silent time today wore on, I started to think how sad it would be if I was still in that stage of life where I only need to focus on me. It sure was fulfilling and wonderful, but empty. I know so much more of myself now. (No doubt my 50 year old self will look back on me now and think the same thing) And I love the little kids in my home who fill my life with splendid craziness. I don't always love the craziness, but I love the kids. I would miss them if I didn't have them. I did miss them when I didn't have them. Another thing when I was in college studying my brains out is that I spent a lot of time dreaming about the time I would have a family. My 20 year old self looked forward to my 30 year old self, just like my 30 year old self looks back at my 20 year old self. That's the circle of life, I guess. Except, not a circle. I see it more like a ladder. I can look forward to some of the things that are hopefully coming in my life...growing kids, grandmotherhood. I can also look down and see where I've been...college, old friends, high school, those hard, hard, learning experiences. I look back for encouragement (I did it then, I can do it now) and I look forward for hope (I have so many good things coming). From where I sit, things look pretty good.
And when the family came home, and the house was once again filled with noise, I felt more grateful for it. I remember a time when I longed for it, I look forward to the day that I will miss it, and I revel in it today.