Silence is golden. It’s the priciest commodity around our house at least…especially when the house goes for a drive in the car. I’m sure you know how it is–everyone sounding out all at the same time in an enclosed space. One child persistently asking to listen to his favorite song, roll down the windows, and the all-too familiar “where are we going?” in continuum like a strings section playing Vivaldi. Then there’s the steady, bass-like barrage of time-consuming questions from the older one: “Mama, where does the horizon end? Where does the freeway begin? When will we go visit China? Why can’t we go right now? What’s 2,376+70,231?” While these two are relentlessly keeping pace with one another, the one-yr. old chimes in with unintelligible schreeches and objections like an over zealous percussionist. While interchangeably attending to each of the children’s questions or needs, my husband and I attempt to formulate complete sentences in response to the “conversation” we are having with each other. If my windows had been down, you would not have heard the beautiful ballad of the third movement, but rather the discordance of pre-concert tuning.
“Okay! Uh..uh…Time out!” I stammered. “Each of you can ask one question, them Mama and Baba are going to talk.” The kids (to our surprise) responded graciously to our request and complied with the one-question rule, followed by…silence…sort of. The baby made spitting noises, the boys giggled and whispered to themselves, and Troy and I finished talking about our day. I said to Troy, “In ten years we’ll be wishing they’d talk to us more.” He agreed.
I turned around to look at each of their cute little faces and tried to imagine what they would look like in ten years. I grimaced as I thought of one with his nose buried in a book, the next one scrolling around his iPod with earphones blaring, and finally, the youngest busy pestering his brothers. That’s not what I want a trip in the car to look like! Where’s the conversation, the debating, the probing, the laughing? In my mind’s eye, this was a quiet car, a silent car. Suddenly, the cacophony that was a ride to the store became melodious, even pleasurable. What other time in my life will I so audibly hear the curiosities and churnings of my children’s minds? Who else gets to be the recipient of all this (raucous) attention! Troy and I are the center of their little universe at present…the conductors of their unrehearsed orchestra you might say. The melody of life is new and strange to them, and we have the privilege of tuning their hearts to the Maestro, Himself, in all things, big and small.
Silence may be golden, but our children’s hearts is the diamond in the rough.