Footsteps up and down the hall.
Over and over.
Screams and cackling.
The TV volume at exponential levels during SportsCenter.
The refrigerator opening and closing a thousand times.
Cabinet doors unhinged.
Toilet seats dropped.
We all have a list of these things. These things that bother us. These things that get under our skin. These things that drive us to yell and holler and act crazy because that’s what we feel like we are.
Driven to that point by the constant noise.
The constant noise of life.
Of a family.
I have asked myself this week a very profound question and it’s taken me a while to actually answer it.
What would I do if the noise stopped?
What would I do if quiet fell over my home?
I laughed at first and thought, “Oh, how I’d love to have a quiet house! With no fighting or slamming doors or running up and down that long ass hallway! Bring on the quiet and bring it on NOW!”
Then, reality hit me smack dab in the face and I realized something that I should’ve known all along.
I love the noise.
I love the sound of little feet running up and down my hall. I love the sound of the raucous play and laughter that it brings.
And I love the sound of his snoring.
Without it, there’s no him. There’s only me.
Please, understand that I’d like to not miss 15 minutes out of every hour of sleep, but this comes with a price. A price I’m willing to pay.
You see, I don’t know how long I’ll get to hear the sweet sounds of those snores. It could be a year. It could be ten years.
We all know that our children will grow up and the pitter patter of little feet will go away. The slamming front door will stop and the fridge will stay shut.
These are things that we, as parents, know will happen.
It doesn’t make it any less hard, but it happens at a slow pace and is something we can prepare for.
We all know we’ll have that treasured “Empty Nest”.
See? There’s even a name for it.
But there’s no name for “Empty Bed” syndrome, unless I just coined it.
We don’t talk about how wonderful it will be to spread out and hog all the covers.
We don’t talk about it because no one wants it.
I might for a night or two.
Even a week. But somewhere deep in my soul, I need to hear the snoring. I need to huff and puff over the stolen covers.
I need this to breathe.
Because I know what it means when the snoring stops.
It means that half of my soul has been taken and all that is left is silence.
So, for now, I’ll embrace the noise.
I will live for the guttural sounds of sleep.
I will live for those feet dancing down the hallway and his yelling for them to stop.
I will live.
At least for as long as he does.