my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

July 30, 2015

controlling the volume of my voice

one thing that i have always appreciated is silence. it's not that i have ever taken it for granted and then am reminded of how awesome it is when the kids are away (like now). no, i have always loved the quiet. as soon as they go to bed, i shut off the tv and just sit. even when my hubby and i are up watching shows together, and we stay up much later than we should to watch just one more show on netflix, even then when he wanders off to bed and wants me to join him, i will sit in the silence of my living room for a little.

too much noise has always been too much for me. when the world around me gets too loud, the voices and thoughts that are constant in my head start turning up the volume. then everything feels like it's shouting and i can't reason or think or function. i feel swallowed up by the noise. i need quiet to breath and to think and to calm myself. because if things stay too loud for too long, i feel like i get wound up, going around and around, tighter and tighter until i can't breath. and then i feel like screaming.

so yes, i appreciate the quiet, i enjoy the silence, i need to be noise free everyday to recharge and regroup. but in this house, with three boisterous children? silence doesn't happen. not very often during their waking hours at least. as they all get older, they have gotten louder. they shout over each other, vying for my attention, until they are literally yelling at me and i can't process what they are saying. so they yell louder, thinking that turning up the volume will help with understanding.

i am trying my very best to get them all to understand that being loudest doesn't mean that you win, it's the one with the best reasoned argument that gets the point. also that taking turns speaking means that everyone can be heard, and it doesn't matter if you were the first one talking, and it really doesn't matter if you get the last word in. most days, though, these finer points of debate are lost on my children.

and so they talk loudly at me, as excited kids do, and they talk very loudly at each other, to make sure they are heard. then, so that i know i am heard, i talk louder over them all to get them to be quiet. there have been many days when my husband has come home from work and heard me yelling at them for quiet, i can only imagine what my neighbors think.

today i go and pick up all my kids from their grandparents, with whom they stayed this last week. and though it might make me sound like a terrible mother, i would love to leave them there for a few more days. i don't mind physically taking care of them anymore, making dinner everyday and making sure they've bathed, picking up after them and laundry and driving them places and all the other million things that make up my day. no, all of that gives me something to do. i am loathe to get them because i will miss the quiet.

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