I’m not a big fan of noise.
Some people seem to thrive on it. Loud music, crowded parties, auditory chaos. Not for me. A walk in the woods, a good book out on the deck, a one-on-one conversation with a friend – that’s how I roll.
But, I have kids. Five of them. Boys. And that means…noise.
Twenty+ years of noise (thus far), with about 11 more to go.
Now, I love my kids, and I know that an inescapable part of the package is barely-controlled chaos. But as I get older, I find myself yearning for the mythical empty nest state, where things aren’t broken daily, bickering is someone else’s problem, and interruptions are chosen instead of imposed. Of course, at that point I’ll miss it, and be demanding time with future grandchildren. Maybe I’ll yearn for some noise. But maybe not.
I met a young married lady at an event this week and she has three boys, all under the age of five (one set of twins). She described the state of her house, from the moment the kids got up, as “airborne”! Perfect.
Truth be told, I secretly enjoy the liveliness (mostly). But I find myself trying to carve out little moments of escape, some safe harbors from the kaleidoscope of chaos. My RAM is beginning to fill up with sound files. My hard disk is getting fragmented. It’s just one of the job hazards of being a long-time parent, I guess – when you’re young, your signal-to-noise filtering capacity is greater. At this stage, I yearn for just signal!
I’m thankful that I have kids, and many would give their right arm to be in my shoes. But as all parents can attest – some days your bell gets rung one too many times by the percussions of parenting. The result: kid concussions! Parents made punch-drunk by all the noise…
So, if you ever see me in a large group setting, looking ill at ease among the sound waves, do me a favor and lead me to a quiet corner for a chat. Finding a safe harbor from the aural maelstrom will always be much appreciated…!