Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Too Quiet


That’s a phrase I don’t understand in my personal life.  When I was a kid being shuffled between divorced parents, I’d often hear a parent say, “It’s just too quiet with the kids are away.”  I didn’t really know what that meant at the time.  I assumed I’d understand some day when I was a parent.  Well, I’ve been a parent for four-and-a-half years now, and I still don’t understand.

Noise gets to my son, too.  
When I’m home, the noise bothers me—everyday.  There are often 2, 3, or 4 of us talking at once while the Cars 2 soundtrack plays from the boy’s room and a kids’ movie plays in the living room.  And it makes it impossible for me to think clearly.  It makes it impossible for me to fully listen to any of my family members, because I’m listening to ALL of them.  I cannot tune out one who’s talking to focus on the others; I just can’t.

Yesterday I was talking to my son and hearing about his day while my daughter and mom were working a puzzle—three people talking at once.  Then my daughter started, “Momma.  Momma.  Momma!  Momma!” 
 
I turned to her and said, “Wait a minute, Lily.  I’m talking to Tristan right now.”

She stood up, pointed her not-yet-two-year-old finger at me and yelled, “Listen!  I’m talking to you!”
(First, I have no idea where she’s heard or seen that.  Second, you can pray for us; imagine this girl as an early teen?!)

And that’s what it’s like from the moment I enter the door each evening, until the kids go to bed each night.

This weekend, my parents took the kids for an evening.  I relished the quiet, and the adult meal I got to cook and eat.  I called to check on the kids, and Mom asked, “Is it getting too quiet over there?”

“No, I’m just calling to make sure everything’s going okay.”  And that was true.  It was NOT too quiet.

I don’t understand why it’s never “too quiet” for me at home.  It’s not that I like quiet all the time.  When I’m at work, I need a little noise most of the time.  I like to overhear a conversation, stop what I’m doing, and put in my unsolicited two-cents-worth.  (I’m sure my co-workers just love this part of me.) 

I am introverted.  I’ve always known that.  However, when I’ve read articles about introverts, I’ve always walked away with a, “Huh.  That’s not really me,” reaction.

 A couple weeks ago I spent two-and-a-half days being evaluated with my husband.  It was everything you’re thinking—shrinks, personality profiles, group work, couples’ interviews, public speaking and public interviews, walls held up by people watching—always watching—and scribbling notes on concealed clipboards.  Actually, it ended up being a great experience.  One of the many things I learned about myself was a breakdown of my Myers-Briggs type.  Turns out I am more introverted than extraverted by 1%.  Just one.  I’m reflective for sure.  I can be quiet, but I am capable of talking A LOT.  I’m reserved, but I can be outgoing—by nature, not by force.

So, I like some quiet and some noise at work.  But it’s never “too quiet” for me at home.  Still trying to figure this out…

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