That Old Loyal Bra

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I know it’s a little strange to think that an inanimate object, like a bra, has feelings but that doesn’t change my irrational thinking. I can’t help but feel sorry for replacing my old loyal bra. I really detest clothes shopping. I don’t like the process of trying things on that don’t fit. Repeatedly. And clothes are expensive. I get a little claustrophobic in the changing rooms. Especially when three little boys are with me, bumping into the door or curtain, mirror and walls. A few months ago, I had to abandon the ill-fitting bras at Kohl’s and get the heck out of there. My youngest boy gave me about a thirty second warning. He had to go to the bathroom. BAD. I knew that I could just keep wearing my old loyal bra.

I’ve been putting off or neglecting the task of shopping for a new bra for a while. Like several years. I’ve had this one loyal bra that was there for me a long time ago, before I got pregnant with twins. Eight years ago. It patiently hung out in my drawer as my breasts grew to gigantor twin pregnancy and post-pregnancy nursing sized breasts. Then, the nursing bras took the reins. I never knew my entire teenage and adulthood life the trials of running with bouncing breasts or the bother of strapping down milk jugs, for fear of the let-down. More accurately described as the milk sprinkler system. Holy cow. Look out below.

All the while, my temporarily forgotten sad loyal bra waited patiently in my drawer. It even got repeatedly shoved to the back by the bigger, fancier role players.

When you get done nursing several kids, sometimes you look down in the shower. What the heck happened? Gravity? Age? Nope. Kids. Straight up kids. There’s no denying the changes in your once small, yet full-of-life before pregnancy and nursing breasts. And with most potentially self-esteem lowering body issues, I try to find the positive. Love on myself. Especially my imperfections. I nursed three dependent scrawny babies into walking, talking boys. That’s pretty huge and amazing. And as you endure anything time consuming, sacrificing and hard in life, there are going to be scars on the inside and outside. Mother battle wounds. Tired nipples that literally have had the life sucked out of them.

There were so many challenging moments of trying to get preemie twin boys to latch on to my cantaloupes, maybe they were more like small watermelons. It was me crying, the boys crying, milk dripping or spraying everywhere. A luke-warm mess. Literally and emotionally. If not for numerous lactation consultants, my mother and sisters, and my uber encouraging and supportive husband, I would have never made it past the insanity to the beautiful gift of breastfeeding. The moments where my infant twin boys would hold hands. The moments where my third baby boy would look up at me and grab my mouth. Or my hand. All of the middle of the night moments where I could comfort and feed my children because my body did this crazy and amazing thing of making the exact nourishment my children needed. My broken and diseased body did something so perfectly and beautifully right. That’s a gift. Something to be proud of. No matter what.

I headed to the mall last week by myself. I took a detour from my search to buy some pants for my boys that would not get holes in the knees. That really was an impossible endeavor anyway. I bypassed the shoe section and rode the escalator up to the third floor of Nordstrom’s. The kids section. And the lingerie section. Honestly, I was a little hesitant when the kind, young bra fitting woman asked me if I needed to be fitted. I wish they had a designated tired mom employed there that had nursed a boatload of kids and would kindly share that with you when you got that insecure look. Time to be fitted. Strip down. Oh, man. Cue the diarrhea of the mouth. I think this exact moment was why I had tried on awful fitting bras in Kohl’s with my three boys. By myself. I know she recognized the hesitancy in my voice. “You can turn and face the wall, if you want,” she said. Okay. Less awkward than looking her in the eyes as she measured me. She left and came back with several really cute bras. Three of them fit. I put my loyal old school bra back on. Then, I felt a sense of conquering a beast and a sense of sadness for my bra that I don’t even know the size or brand of anymore because it’s so worn out.

Shhh. I do have to admit that I feel proud to wear my new bras. Accomplished. Impressed that I finally went shopping for something for myself. Even though, it’s not a new pair of shoes or anything visible that anybody except my husband sees. But, a part of me also feels a little sad to shove my old bra to the back of my drawer. Again. I know it’s absurd, but I’m not throwing that bra away. I just can’t. Who knows how long these new ones will last anyways? They just don’t make stuff like they used to. I may just need that old loyal bra again someday. You never know.

Golden Sevens

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It’s really a win-win situation. We buy Costco amounts of produce and we need help eating it. Also, I have stacks of papers I need to shred. If I know two guinea pigs desperately need some bedding or a comfy place to take a dump, surely that will motivate me to get organized. Lastly, and most importantly, my boys have been begging for hamsters. I can’t. Just too many traumatic hamster stories growing up. Like the time our babysitter tried to kill our hamster with a broom. She thought it was a mouse, despite our yelling that it was our pet. They also ate their babies. And constantly escaped into the bathtub, of all places.

So, guinea pigs it is for the seven-year old boys on their golden birthdays. Since we’re a little crazy. I promised them last summer in a weak moment. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. Especially not with a child. Or twin children. You will be reminded. Times two.

My twin boys are different in so many awesome and beautiful ways, but they also have similar characteristics and interests too. Maybe that has to do with their ages, their innocence, their creativity or their rapidly pounding hearts. They were born only a minute apart (maybe less)on the seventh day of the eleventh month of the year, 2008. I will never forgot the happy tear eruption that filled the operating room when we heard their itty bitty, yet loud cries. They came early. We were scared, nervous, and excited. They entered the world and it’s as if they were saying, “Hello, everybody, Mom, Dad. Since there’s a crowd, we thought we should do our best, in our tiny five- pound bodies, to let you know that we are here. We have arrived.” And our hearts swelled up and grew a million sizes bigger that morning. They continue to grow to this day. Overflowing with mad love for our seven-year old boys. Our lucky number sevens.

If I had the power to pause time, I could make a strong case for keeping them seven forever. I can tell you exactly why. Their thoughts literally leave me speechless at times. The things they say and genuinely feel dance freely out of their mouths. They don’t hold back. They will stop and point out the beautiful fall leaves or talk about a project they’re working on with this endless passion, persistence and tone of voice that you just can’t resist. “I love this day,” one of them said yesterday. They will spontaneously ask to hold my hand or say totally out of the blue while we’re driving, “I love you, Mom.” For no reason. Except I guess that the thought popped into their heads. So they said it. And it’s like a surprise delivery knocking on the door of my heart. Every single time. Because they’re old enough to know what it means and if they say it, you can believe it. It’s pure joy to both unexpectedly and knowingly receive their sentiments.

They’re fearless climbers. Both of them. You turn your head for a moment and they’ve shimmied up the door frames in our house or a tree or onto a wall or up a slide. “Hey Mom! Look fast!” They say in their proud voices. They’re multi-talented at trying and figuring things out, but they will still ask for help too. They aspire to be restaurant owners, police officers, road builders, drummers, musicians and they’ve told me they want to work at the hospital too. “Can I have five jobs, Mom?” They see no reason why they can’t hold all of these jobs at the same time. Their imaginations and creativity captivate, inspire and overwhelm me. I can’t help but feel so damn lucky and proud to be their mother.

They giggle and belly laugh every day at  words pronounced in a funny way or silly poop jokes. One of my favorite things is how they both get to laughing so hard that they can’t talk or breathe really well. It takes a moment for them to recover. And it’s awesome. They’re overly genuinely happy. And caring. And kind-hearted most of the time. They believe in things they can’t see. Like God’s strength and power. And love. They simplify and explain enormous concepts in a way that stops me in my tracks. To say that I love them seems like an understatement. Not quite enough.

We used to say at bedtime, “I love you.”
“No, I love you more.”
“I love you the most.”

Now, we compete to see who can say, “I love you the morst!”

We have a bedtime ritual of playfully arguing about who loves who more. I will love them to infinity and beyond. As far and wide as the ocean. To all of the stars and moon and back. And I tell them since my hands are bigger, then my heart is bigger. So, naturally, I have more room to love them the morst. And thats what I tell them. They usually outsmart me with some reason how their hearts can hold more love than mine. I don’t know if they will ever truly be able to fathom just how constant, unconditional, never ending, always growing and readily available my love for them is. Those two wrestling, giggling, crying, running, snuggling, loving boys unexpectedly made me a mother seven plus years ago. Their sole existence, dependence on me and unconditional love for me has shifted how I view and care for others. They’ve unintentionally adjusted my perspective and my priorities. They have stretched my heart to experience, feel and love in ways I could have never imagined. Thank God for my golden boys. My lucky number sevens.

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Fear Less

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The fears that I have for myself in this world do not begin to compare to the fears I carry for my children. The truth is I really don’t like fear. I typically don’t engage in fear-promoting activities like watching scary movies. Or jumping out of planes. Especially since I became a mother. I don’t like the unexpected. It’s uncertain. And nerve wracking. It makes me feel a little hopeless. Or maybe helpless. Fear grabs the wheel in my head and turns my thoughts in a direction I don’t like to go. I feel kind of trapped. And I just want out of the worry-filled, overthinking, false predicting, pseudo-powerful fearmobile.

I worry for my kids, as I imagine every parent does. Sometimes my worries come from a place of experience, like my own experiences as a kid. Things I did. Things I saw. Or things that happened to me. Sometimes my fears come from hearing other parent’s painful stories. Just today a friend told me how classmates would regularly put trash in her daughter’s lunch. In kindergarten. I know I can’t bubble wrap, stand guard or hover over my children. I’ve learned when they leave my home, there are great unknowns past the front door and down the hill. And so I do a little worrying from time to time. I worry about the power of their peers’ words to rattle their emotions and shake their self-confidence. And I think I worry for good reason. One of my boys didn’t want to wear the tail on his costume to school because he said, “I think kids will laugh at it.” This stopped me in my breakfast making tracks. And it kind of pissed me off. A lot.

Because I know. Because I’ve heard the stories. Because I’ve been there when a child couldn’t take the pain of being bullied anymore. I’ve talked to beautiful kids, life-filled kids of all ages who have confessed that they have no friends. And I’ve believed them. I’ve experienced the awkward pause, the silence when I ask kids questions about school and friends. I’ve heard the gut-punching answer slowly and sadly escape, “Nobody likes me” or “I don’t have any friends.” I worry when my own children come home and tell me playground stories of children being cruel. I worry about the other kids. The victims. And I worry about my own. The bystanders. “It’s too soon, they’re too young,” I think. I feel like we’ve been thrown in deep waters and my kids are still doggy paddling. Sometimes, I learn it’s the most “popular” children. Yuck. And this is first grade. This hurts my heart in a way that is hard to handle in a calm, level-headed rational way.

It’s hard to not get angry. It’s hard not to march through the doors of the school and demand better. To be honest, I know my children have witnessed unkind behavior outside of the school walls, even from me before. I know I’m far from, dare I even type the word, perfect. Parenting is hard. Really. Really. Hard. And demanding. And life-sucking at times. But I know if our children are not learning how to treat one another with respect, kindness, love and forgiveness at home, will they even recognize or embrace these lessons elsewhere? Or will they bounce right off of their fake tough skin? Coloring a worksheet is not going to change hearts, attitudes or minds. I know if I’m not teaching my children to accept and appreciate diversity at home, the school counselor’s lesson may fall on plugged ears.

Somehow, I keep having to help my children understand really difficult lessons. After school. Lessons learned from kids acting in cruel and intentionally unkind ways. Honestly, like little punks. And unfortunately, I’m not blindfolded to the misbehaved and unkind adults that exist in this world too. I’m well aware of the deep cutting power of nasty looks or hurtful words. The excluding attitudes. Fake nice grown-ups. Or just plain mean ones. So naturally I think about kids’ home lives. I understand that kids may be the recipients of mean words and unloving treatment. They may be under appreciated, unheard and disrespected in the place where these lessons matter the most.

One of the most intentional reasons I drive my kids to parks and playgrounds all over town is because I hope that my kids will to learn to play, include and get along with kids everywhere. Not just on our street. In our neighborhood. Or at our church. A few months ago, one of my boys got called a “butthead” by another kid at one our favorite playgrounds. My son ran over to me visibly upset and told me what happened. He asked this boy if he could move from blocking the slide so he could go down. The boy didn’t want to move, I assume, so he called my son a “butthead.” And stayed right where he was. The boy probably got the reaction he hoped for, since my son came over to me in tears, asking me through labored crying breaths if I was going to go talk to his mom. I didn’t see this boy’s mom or dad around and I didn’t plan on addressing this name-calling episode with a complete stranger. I told my son maybe he could play in a different area. (Later, when that kid was throwing rocks at my kids and other kids, I did address him in a calm yet firm tone.)

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When we got home from the park, I thought of something I could show my boys to explain what happened using nature, specifically a fish’s defense mechanism. We talked about how the boy didn’t want to move from the slide, so he puffed up. Like a pufferfish. I showed them a video of a pufferfish getting agitated then blowing up. I explained that some kids and adults don’t like being asked to do something they don’t want to do, so they get mad. They puff up. Call people names. Push. Shove. Try and make themselves look bigger. My boys wanted to watch the video of the pufferfish blowing up over and over again. Thanks, YouTube. So, now I can say,”remember the pufferfish?” It helps to know that sometimes you just have to leave some kids and people alone. They’re gonna puff up. No matter what.

The truth is a lot of times I hope and try to help my kids understand why things happen or why people may act a certain way. But I’m at a loss for words sometimes especially when it comes to people’s behavior. It seems to me like we’re all on the same team. Team Human Beings. Sometimes, we just don’t know how to accept and appreciate the many different roles we all play. We’re all working towards some pretty complicated goals like the feelings of belonging, acceptance, and being unconditionally loved. These come easier for some than others. I realize that I can be an example of acceptance, love, strength, and hope for my kids in the walls of our home, our van, and any other place they are with me. They’re watching me. Listening to me. Learning from me. Especially at the most unlikely times, when I may not even recognize it. Until a later time when they bring up that something they saw or heard me say. Or do. It’s quite unnerving to physically feel the loss of control that accompanies your children growing up and experiencing both the beauty, the good, the ugly and painful of this world. Without you there carrying them or walking by their sides. Shielding them, when possible from some of the pain their little hearts aren’t prepared for. Not yet. But will they ever be?

When I’m up late thinking about how much it hurts to know that my son sat crying at his desk because of false accusations of kids in his class, I have these slow sad, yet motivated and passionate tears that urge me to do something. For my son. And for other children not equipped to handle tough peer situations. What can I teach my son from this, besides the fact that sometimes kids and people will be mean and cruel? I can build my son back up. Speak truth into his tiny ears. I can try to explain kids’ behavior. I can teach him how to be the one that encourages others, looks out for others. And I can continue to teach him empathy. It’s hard because what I really want is for this not to happen. Ever. But especially not in first grade. And I want to have a conversation with a parent or bring that kid to my house and teach him how to love, respect and care for others. Repeatedly. Until he gets it.

I dropped my son off at school today and I watched him walk up the steps inside as sat in my van. He waved at me. I couldn’t see the hallways that lie ahead. I couldn’t be there to build him up if someone’s words broke him down. That’s really hard. But I have to make a choice. We won’t let the unkind, cruel people win. I know that I have to keep teaching my children about who they are and about the phenomenal gifts that they possess, despite what any child may say or do to shake their confidence. I believe that it is our job to invest in our children’s emotional intelligence. We have to be conscious and go out of our way to be kind, loving, accepting, forgiving and compassionate towards one another. Little eyes are always watching. Learning and growing. It’s our responsibility to provide the curriculum of our kid’s home lives.

In our house, we will not let unkindness alter us and we won’t let fear win.  Or people who puff up. They will not get to determine or influence our thoughts, actions or the decisions we make in regards to what’s best for our children and their future. Our end goal in raising our kids is to put more grown-up human beings out into the world that love on, care for and help others. Because this world is good, beautiful even but it’s also hard and complicated. And we need each other. We all need the high fives, the hugs, and the encouraging chants. We need to recognize that we’re all wearing the same colors on the inside.

Sixty Five Year Old Watch

The first time I met you, you sat there a little frustrated trying to get the doors open. They wouldn’t work. You asked my son if he would open the door for you. And then you gently asked me if I would push your wheelchair outside to the curb. I asked where you were going. To pick up your watch, you said. Then, you told me all about your watch. How the battery finally died after sixty-five years. They had to find a part for it in Europe. You bought it as a college graduation present from the bookstore at Georgetown University. I was impressed with both your ability to keep a watch for sixty-five years and the watch’s ability to keep working. My four-year old anxiously waited for me as I listened to you tell me a few more stories. You told me about watching Joe DiMaggio play baseball. How you and your wealthy friend chose to sit out in the outfield just to be near Joe. Then, your ride pulled up to the curb. You looked up at me and said, “thanks for talking with me.” And I could have cried because I felt the sincerity and appreciation in your voice. I also felt the loneliness. I could tell that you have a lot of pent-up stories. Really great stories. Waiting to be told. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I wanted to buy you a Royals shirt. And visit with you again next time I came to see my grandma.

Yesterday, as I walked up with my three boys dressed in their Halloween costumes, I recognized you. You sat there in your wheelchair, again, waiting at the curb for your ride. I remembered and looked down at your wrist. You were wearing your Georgetown University watch. How could a sixty-five year old watch still look so good? I reached down. You touched my hand. And I felt the loneliness again. You took your watch off for me to hold. I admired it as my three boys bounced around in their costumes. I handed it back to you and touched your hands again. On purpose. You were going out for Italian food. You asked me if I knew you were Italian. Nope, I said. I told you that I liked Italian food too. You told me your favorite pasta to order. I needed to get my busy boys inside to go see their great Grandma. Your ride pulled up. Perfect timing. You told me I should come have a drink with you guys sometime. I said that sounded good. I should probably let my husband know.

I hope if I live long enough to need help getting out to the curb in my wheelchair or need someone to talk to that somebody will be there. And stop. And listen. And touch my hand. I began overthinking and feeling so spoiled by all of the touch I receive. On a daily basis. From my three little dependents. One four-year old boy constantly wanting to be held. Bear hugging me. Climbing on me. Grabbing my hair, my face, everything. And two nearly seven-year old boys who will ask regularly to sit next to me or will reach up and say, “Mommy, could you hold my hand?” I got to thinking that I have enough touch that I could probably share some of it. Or at the very least, try to cherish and appreciate this fleeting over-touching phase of motherhood. I have felt the enormous power in gentle, loving, and meaningful touch. I feel it every time I hug my grandma before I leave. I see it as my grandma and other residents reach out to touch my boys’ hair or hands. It’s hard to imagine a day where I won’t reach down a hundred times and touch my sons’ hair or hands or where they won’t climb on my lap or jump onto my back. Over and over again. The reality is that it’s a short stage in my life and theirs comparitively speaking. And as hard as it may be on some long and exhausting days, I’m going to try harder to appreciate and remember the feeling of a full lap, a held hand, and the abundance of touch in this phase of my life. I was reminded of the gift as I placed a sixty five year old watch on a new friend’s wrist.

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The Blood Drive

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There was a time last September when the cold lake water combined with my junked up lungs proved to be a near deadly combination. My three year old son wore a life jacket in the water, holding onto me. In hindsight, I realize I should have worn a life jacket too that day. As we waited in the water and the boat circled around, I began having an increasingly more difficult time treading water. And breathing got so hard. I felt like all of the air was gone every time I desperately tried to suck some of it in. It was a horribly scary feeling. Suffocating somehow yet out in the middle of a lake. I knew I could not go under water. For fear of not coming back up. In a short amount of time, I began feeling desperate. My three year old knew I was scared. I started pushing him off of me. I could not take the added weight of him holding onto me. Onto my lungs. My oldest sister, Anna, watched nervously from the boat. She knew my capabilities, my strength, and my ability to persevere. But she saw me struggling. She knew the kind of mother I am. She knew I would never push my child away from me. Unless I had to.

It’s a painful moment to remember and write about. I can still see his face. And feel him desperately grabbing for me and crying in the freezing September water. Scared. Cold. Sensing my fear. My older sister’s instinct kicked in, as it has so many times before. She jumped from the boat and swam out to me. She’s strong. Fierce. A protector. A mother to her own five children. And she also mothers the world. And that day, she mothered me and my son. I will never know for sure, but she may have saved my life.

Anna quickly swam out to my son and I. She took my son which helped me focus on getting to the boat that pulled up along side of us. I swam, rather doggy paddled to the boat. I held on to the side and did not, would not let go. I vividly remember stretching both arms towards the boat. Holding onto it. So relieved, breathing the hardest and best I could, yet I just could not catch my breath. I felt like I had never been so exhausted. And scared for my life. In my life.

Fast forward to today. I anxiously sat across from a community blood drive employee and pleaded with him to let me give blood. My lungs are doing great or else I wouldn’t be here attempting to give blood, I told him. They’re not flared up. I’m not having to do treatments. He called his supervisor. He has never met someone with “bronchiectasis.” My four year old son sat on my lap. The same son who was in the water with me that day. I wanted him to witness me being strong, healthy and humbly giving blood that may help save somebody’s life. Like the blood that somebody gave years ago that helped save my life when I was dying as an eighteen year old. I knew the employee was going to say I couldn’t give blood. And he did. It hurt. I carried my son as we walked to the car.

When you want so badly to do something and you can’t, that hurts. When you have a reason, a really meaningful reason why you want to do something, but you can’t because of a disease you have, it’s really difficult to accept. I will anxiously wait to hear back from New York to learn if I ever will be able to give blood. If you can give blood, even if you don’t want to, would you consider doing it for me? Or more importantly, would you do it for all the kids and adults who are too sick to ask you to give blood for them? Because you can. Because you won’t be denied. Because you’re healthy enough. Because you possess an abundance of life pumping through your beating heart, healthy lungs and body. Somebody else just needs a little. And like I tell kids every weekend when we do a blood draw, “the awesome and cool thing about your body is that it will make more blood.” Please donate.❤️

Invisible Burdens

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I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell you this the other night. I couldn’t be responsible for your feelings. Not that night. I sat at the kitchen table in the dark. Paralysed. Consumed. Affected. Hurting. Decompressing after a horribly long and painful day at work. You wanted to help me. I knew I was hungry. And that I needed to eat something. I just didn’t know what. I felt like I was going to throw up. Or was my stomach in knots. I was just so sad. Eating seemed like such a trivial thing to do. I was short. I was rude. I was broken. And you stood there as long as you could. I’m sorry again.

I didn’t know what I needed from you. I didn’t want to expose you to the painful reality of life. Inside of those hospital walls. I wanted to protect you but I needed to tell you. I needed to say the words. I needed to cry. Hard. I needed to feel like you would hold me. I needed you to say that as much as I hurt, I helped in some small way today. I needed you to say that as hard as my job is sometimes, I have to keep on doing it. Because of how much it hurts. Because of how much I care. Because of how much I love people that I just met. I needed you to tell me that you love me. That you love my broken heart. I needed you to say, “I’m so sorry. So very sorry for what you saw. What you heard. What you had to do.” Even if you couldn’t begin to know how awful it was. Because I didn’t want you to know.

I’m sorry that you often witness me carrying the heavy, seemingly invisible burdens of a helping profession. The burdens that you know are not invisible. You witness my dark eyes stained with the mascara that has run all over the place. And also somehow lingered underneath my eyes. You witness me struggling, hurting, and questioning. I’m sorry that you get ignored or mistreated sometimes because I just can’t help one more person. And so you temporarily get the short end of the stick. Until I have cried. Until I have tried to make sense of it. Until I have come to peace with my small role.

Thank you for loving me through the hard stuff. Thank you for not wanting me to quit. Thank you for holding my shaking body. Thank you for waiting up for me. Even though it may have seemed pointless. Thank you for encouraging me. Even when I seemed distant. Thank you for the burdens that you gracefully carry as a result of the work that I do. I couldn’t do it without your support. Without you stepping up when I don’t know how to ask for help. I couldn’t do it without your strength. Thank you for helping me and always building me back up. So that I can help others. Others that you will never meet.

Noise Withdrawal

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Silence is not golden. It’s boring. Yeah. Yeah. I said it. I like it every once in a while. For about three minutes or so during the day. And it’s alright at night when I’m trying to go to sleep. But the rest of the time, I like noise. Hustle. Bustle. Voices. Laughter. Even the screams, when everybody is not hurt. Just not the quiet. Especially when it’s too quiet. How am I supposed to get anything accomplished without noise? I should turn on some music. Or go eat lunch at a pizza joint. That should help.

Sometimes I guess I’m a bit of an avoider. Avoiding the laundry. Avoiding confrontation. Avoiding long lines. Anywhere. And today, I’m avoiding a quiet house. It’s weird because there are many times when all I want is a little peace and quiet. Wrapped in a giant, pretty easy-to-open box. I guess I don’t like to keep that gift for too long. Or else I feel alone. Just me and my thoughts. I would rather bounce my thoughts off of people, all over the place, outside of my head. I would like to return the quiet, and have the noise back. Maybe I’m a bit of a noise hoarder. I like to pile it up in the forms of conversations, lots of kids running around, loud music playing and my favorite, laughing.

I’m starting to recognize that I may occasionally suffer from the made-up symptoms associated with noise withdrawal. An extrovert’s nightmare. I love the sounds of people, especially the little people running around my house. So, strategically, I often avoid my house when there will be no little people there to distract me. Tug on me. Or ask me to be the “Robot Mother” or the infamous “Dog Monster.” I love the chaos and noise, especially when it’s absent. Gone. Silence is boring.

To delay my noise withdrawal symptoms, I do my best to find noise in other places. Coffee shops. Restaurants. Or sometimes, I do the opposite. I try to find quiet in places where quiet should hang out. The library. Shhhhhh! Be. Quiet. Even the quietness of biking or walking outside on a calm fall afternoon. Those places can be quiet all day long. My house should not be so quiet. So, I will do my best to avoid it for a few hours. Leave that strange, unfamiliar quiet place alone. Until the noise returns. With boys. Constant. Present. Alive. How odd that I can be so fickle. How strange that I love the loudness the most when it’s so silent. Too quiet.

I guess I’m a lover of loud. A little crazy. Or a lot. A little messy and chaotic. I suppose a noiseless house scares me a little. Makes me feel like something’s wrong. Like a lot of people are missing. I should stop sitting in the driveway. And go inside. Enjoy the quiet. For a few minutes or so. I probably should do some laundry. But I get bored just thinking about it. Afterall, being a self-diagnosed person affected by noise withdrawal symptoms, I know certain things. Like that the number one symptom of noise withdrawal is boredom. I will turn on some music. Ugh and fold some laundry. And I will look forward to the return of the little, yet loud voices that will soon fill this boring house with excitement again. And noise. Glorious noises.