I’m alone, the silence is deafening. I can hear my own thoughts, the house moans, the washer clicks through the cycles, and the dishwasher drones on.
I am lonely.
Today I went to Chick-Fil_A, I spent time talking to a 4 year old. A total stranger and his mother, who did not think it odd that a mom who they did not know was talking to them. I enjoyed my conversation with him, when I realized how good it felt talking to a little one, I wanted to hug him. But I did not.
I miss my baby girl from 8:05 until 2:30 when I pick her up in her Dad’s office, I let her play until the rest of the children are finished with school.
Home is noisy, and busy, and happy. I like to listen to them play, and laugh, run through the house like caged puppies, and I am glad for the noise. I do not know what I will do when the last one leaves for college. I will have to get a job, or I will end up sitting in the Chick-Fil-A play place reading books aloud to children I do not know.
My friend is dreading tomorrow, she is dropping her only at college. She is so sad. Her silence will be deafening, and, I understand. She will have no dirty dishes in her sink, no random “that is not dirty, you never wore it’ laundry put back into the hamper, no hair products all over the bathroom counter, she will not trip over shoes left out by the door. Today I warned her about drop-off stress, about snippy teens and sad moms. I promised her that she will be missed, and she is loved, but right now her child will not know how to express both the joy of new adventure and the fear of leaving the safety of home. I promised her that she will survive. We all do. Her house will be painfully silent, and she realizes that. My heart breaks for that time.
Time is brutal.
But for it to freeze we would grow weary of the daily. Growth has to happen or we would be come as stagnate as a toddler pool on a hot summer day. Time has to move forward in order for us to appreciate our lives and the loves we have.
So, my friends with young ones at home, when we smile at you as your toddler throws herself on the floor at Chick-Fil-A, or screams through his haircut, or uses the paper towel roll as a megaphone in Publix, we are smiling because we miss it. And if a mom stops to tell you that time moves fast and to hold on tight. Know that we realize that those tantrum days, and sleepless nights are endless and then they are over, one day the only noise in your house is the thoughts in your head, and your dishwasher, which is suddenly very loud. And you will understand why we stop and smile.
Go hug your kids, they need your love, or maybe you need their hug?
P.S. I know I have the college kids home still, they work most days, they don’t need me to pour chocolate milk, they don’t ask if we can watch the TV together, they don’t need me to go into the bathroom with me, and they do not run constant conversation with me. They leave in days and I am so weepy about it.