The sounds of silence, they echo

My DD and her BF and their dog and cat left early Friday morning to drive back to New Orleans. I miss them horribly. After ten days of noise and commotion, of various people coming and going, cooking and eating, talking and laughing and sleeping over, my house is almost spookily quiet.

Part of my brain apparently thinks they’re still here. I’ve had to stop myself three times now from getting up to let the dog in from the backyard. Their dog loved my backyard. Well, she loved the sticks. Which she piled up on the deck, right outside the door, like an offering to the tree gods. Or a barricade to keep us in.

I find myself waiting for the escalating volume of the spit-hiss-growl that meant the cats were having another close encounter of the curmudgeonly kind. And I swear I can still hear the faint chiming riiiiing of that Civ5 computer game — not quite a bell tone, more like someone running a wet fingertip around the rim of a wine glass. Over and over and over and over. Bells bells bells.

It’s not just me. My cat enters every room with extreme caution, not convinced the enemy has abandoned the field. She’s still spending the entire night snuggled up to my side instead of resuming her duties stalking odd noises in the night. This morning she hissed at a pair of shoes. Poor thing, she’s half-blind with old age and has to get right up next to a piece of furniture before she’s sure it isn’t occupied by The Intruder Cat, who is sort of like the Spanish Inquisition of cats. As you can see below. Totally unexpected.

I’ve been trying to get back into writing the past few days [yay. go, me] but the silence is distracting and I’m having trouble concentrating. Even as I sit here writing about how they’re gone, I half expect to hear the whir of a hair-dryer or the slam of a closet door or the sound of my DD yelling from upstairs, “Mom? Is there more laundry detergent somewhere?”

I know, wishful thinking on my part. But as much as I miss all that noise, I have to admit, the silence is rather . . . blissful.

Probably I’d enjoy it more if I weren’t suffering miserably with this sniffling sneezing aching shivering head cold from hell.

I’m telling you, allowing people to invade your solitude has consequences.


Filed under just for fun, parenting

8 responses to “The sounds of silence, they echo

  1. jenb

    Sorry you are under the weather and sure hope it vacates your dwelling very soon.
    Your words echo the thoughts and feelings we felt after having all of the family here for eight days – the laughing, running, general noise of a 6, 3, and 20 month old are the best. And the toothless grin of a 5 month old is priceless.
    Still looking forward when our schedule will allow us to get together.
    Feel better and please take care!


  2. Jen, given the time some of your family members have spent “away” the past couple years, I’m just thrilled you all could be together for eight whole days. I’m willing to take your word for it re the grandkids. Not ready for that quite yet. And YES, we need to congregate sometime soon. Once I’m done sniffling and whining. Well, sniffling anyway.


  3. Merry the stuffed

    It’s funny how we think that human beings merely consist of a physical mass and volume. Obviously we’re a lot more than that, if humans can leave such a tangible negative space behind when they leave.


  4. Hope you feel better! We’re getting back into our usual routine which, with 5 kids, doesn’t include a lot of silence, but does include quiet-ER moments during the day (school time). I’m kinda sad to see the holidays go, but mostly just relieved we survived another one. 5 kids on Christmas morning is an every-man-for-himself situation.


  5. Thanks, Adrienne. Five kids! I bet you cherish your moments of … less noise. I hope they take turns inviting friends to come over. Or that you make them all play outside. That could multiply to chaos in no time. But what fun it is, having them all there.

    Merry, I know. It really is a tangible thing, their absence. Good thing I’m sick and feeling all myopically self-involved or I’d just miss them more. See? A head cold is a good thing. Sort of. Okay, not at all.


  6. McB

    We are definitely at least as much energy as mass. Well, currently I’m more mass than energy. In fact, any energy I emit a present is neglible; but in the grand scheme of things the energy we leave behind lasts a lot longer. Isn’t that why some places leave such an impression on us?

    Hope you are feeling better now.


  7. WapakGram

    We were the ones doing the leaving and leaving Them behind. That damn song, ” Leavin on a Jet Plane” plays over and over in my head on my way home.
    It’s always too quiet when we get there. But, I agree that it’s just awesome to be together!

    I think we made great people! 🙂


  8. Yes, Wapak, we did. I think it would be easier to be the one who left. You’d have the travel to distract you, plus you wouldn’t see all those empty spaces in your house — the leftover energy McB talks about. Then again, all that leftover energy can be comforting too. Like food. Which leads to excess mass. [sigh]

    It’s just hard. No two ways about it.