September 06, 2006

Quiet

Public schools in this area opened today.

Shaggy Hair Boy, Blonde Niece, and Skater Boy are in tenth grade, their second year over at the high school, which means they weren't even a bit nervous about school opening. With-a-Why joined about a thousand other students in the junior high building, which will be a change from the small elementary school he attended.

The biggest change, though, is in our household. All summer, we've had extra kids here just about every night. Teenagers would stop over as soon as they got out of work to come for the evening Ultimate Frisbee game. Older Neighbor Boy, Philosophical Boy, and Skater Boy left their guitars and amps and mikes in our living room for the late night jam sessions that went on almost every night. Sailor Boy and Pirate Boy were here every day, as was Blonde Niece. Even after all the older kids left for college, we've still had half a dozen kids here most nights.

But on school nights, most kids sleep in their own homes. Last night, as I was idly surfing blogs on my laptop, I could feel the quietness of the house creeping up on me.

With-a-Why and Shaggy Hair Boy were both reading intently, neither making a sound. My husband was working at the kitchen table, his laptop open.

How empty the house seemed with just the four of us. I missed Boy in Black's music, his constant drumming and strumming. I missed his gang of friends, with their teasing and joking. I missed my Wonderful Smart Beautiful Daughter; I kept thinking I could just walk into her room to tell her something.

I know we will get used to this new routine, this new quieter lifestyle. I know that on Friday afternoon, a bunch of extra kids will arrive to make the house noisy again. But right now, we are listening to the quietness and feeling a little sad.

15 comments:

kermitthefrog said...

I'm in a similar place right now - I'm hoping the quiet allows new things to come to the fore. But for the moment it's discomfiting.

Poor Mad Peter said...

We, too, can identify, Jo(e). We still hear from our student, who is settling in at York U. in Toronto. And sometimes, we hear phantom whispers, the ghosts of conversations she and Em had over the year, that linger afterward in the air.

Songbird said...

Today is the first day for us. It's odd to have Snowman (also a 10th grader) out of the house already this morning. And soon The Princess leaves for her first day of Middle School. Our college boy is far away and busy and we miss him a lot. Sigh.

zelda1 said...

When my son moved out, it was quiet. His friends were in and out all the time, and I never knew if they were coming to visit him, hang out in my living room and eat my food, or just to check on me for him. Even after he moved away, his friends came and would still drop by if I lived in our home. That empty feeling never really goes away. I'm sure With a Why will fill the house. He seems a lot like his older brother. Don't toss out the extra bedding just yet.

Chip said...

my kids just started this morning. They left the house about 40 minutes ago. And already, it's striking how quiet the house is. I love how you put it: we are listening to the quietness and feeling a little sad.

Phantom Scribbler said...

{{{{jo(e)}}}}

ccw said...

Thanks for the reminder that should I treasure my noisy house.

Rana said...

(o)

Yankee, Transferred said...

I know what you mean. Our highschoolers returned to school about a month ago, and the noise and the pace have picked back up. The beginning is very weird.

YourFireAnt said...

I'll check you in a week and see how long it took you to adjust to the lovely quiet. I wonder if ShaggyHairBoy has adjusted to college, or if he misses the quieter noise of home. Or if he knows that he brought part of that quieter noise to college with him to add to the already pretty huge noise here. Myself, I have always loved a quiet to begin a pretty noise in, a song, a sound in the back of my throat, a longing gonging, a whistle in amongs the shuffling of papers in a roomful of women, a loora-loorahhh.....

jo(e) said...

You know what's funny? My house is normally so noisy that both my older kids made the same comment about living in a college dorm: "It's so quiet in the dorms." I think they might be the first two kids to ever find college dorms quiet. It's all relative.

This morning in the daytime, I found myself enjoying the quiet. It's the first time I've been alone in the house since the end of last April.

YourFireAnt said...

By "Shaggyhairboy" I of course meant Boy in Black.

FireAnt

BeachMama said...

Hope you are making out ok. The whole street here, that for the last two months has been full of laughter and cheers is silent. The windows are open and I hear nothing. It is really a little creepy. At the same time, it gears us up for the silence that is winter around here.

ppolarbear said...

Ah, I'm reading this on Friday, which means it's already lively again!

Silver Creek Mom said...

I'm already missing having my kids here. I watch the clock to see when they will be arriving. Tonight Miranda will be late. Rehearsals have started early this year. Monty Phyton night is a month away.

Nathan loves school and goes to bed earlier.

So the house gets noisey then quiets down quickly.

What am I going to do when Miranda goes off to university?