The Deafening Silence

I’m sitting in a Starbucks trying to think of something funny or profound to write but nothing’s coming. I’m a blank slate. So I’ll tell you instead what I’ve noticed about the last three weeks since the triplets started school—there is so much silence to my days now. To say that it is a change is an understatement. It is beyond different. It is incomprehensible to me. And I’m still trying to get used to it.

When I dropped the triplets off on their first day of preK, Seth and I came home and I plopped down on the couch and sat. And I realized it was completely silent. It was, in a word, deafening.

When we dropped them off, I was happy. I didn’t shed any tears. They were happy to march into their classrooms (minus a few tears from Abby), so I was happy for them. But then we got home and the silence made me realize just how different my days will be from now on.

I said to Seth, “it is just so quiet,” and then I felt hot tears well up in my eyes. Seth stood there not knowing what to do next, whether to laugh or hug me or say something reassuring.

“It’s okay,” I said, “it’s just really different for me.”

Three weeks into school. this is still the most noticeable change for me. Three four-year-olds talk—A LOT. The talking and engaging was incessant. Without them home, it’s me and the dog Chloe in our quiet house.

I am not good with silence. As previously mentioned, I am a nervous talker. I grew up in a loud house, and my house is a louse, busy house, too. We’re generally pretty loud people. So I guess what I’m saying is this—silence makes me really uncomfortable.

The first full day of school, I texted Seth letting him know I needed to go back to work as a lawyer. He told me to calm down. The next day I texted my best friends and said: is this is? Is this what I’ll do forever—organize my house, laundry, and everything else? Is this it? What am I even doing?

They calmly suggested that I stop thinking about the rest of my life and instead think about today, or maybe even this week.

Of course they’re right. I needed to calm down. (I can’t say that anymore without humming Taylor Swift’s song, by the way).

Maybe partly because I hate silence, I always listen to podcasts while I clean. They’re highly entertaining and educational. Anyway, I was recently listening to one of Oprah’s Soul Sessions, and it felt as if she were speaking directly to me. She was talking about when you come to a crossroads in your life, and you’re not sure what you’re going to do next. She said your instinct is to ask everyone around you what you should be doing. You ask, ask, ask, when what you SHOULD be doing is being still and quiet, and listening to yourself. Oh man. Right there. She got me.

I need to be still and quiet and listen. I need to get over the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing right now or next month or next year. I need to learn how to relax maybe a little bit and enjoy the fact that life isn’t nearly as busy during the day (the mornings and afternoons are another matter).

I don’t know how successful I’ll be at listening to myself, but I’m going to try. It may take some time to figure out, but I’ll get there. I think one of the most amazing things about life is how you never really know where it’ll take you next. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I think it’s going to be awesome.

Photo of the best part of my days, greeting my kids at the bus stop. Thanks to my friend Kate for snapping it.