I am sitting here by myself, listening to the humming of a home—the clocks, the radiators, the fridge, the dryer, and the occasional pinging of my phone making sure I don’t miss the arrival of a single email. It is heavenly.
It is not alone if the only other body in the building is a somnolent teenager who rarely makes it downstairs before 1 or 2 pm. I know that I will miss the chaos of kids when they have all flown this coop. But maybe not as much as people say I will.
How can I admit this, especially knowing that for people like my Mom, an empty house is the very last thing in the world that she wants to come home to? I am reminded to be thankful for the precious hours of silence; but also that the silence will end, and that I will not be alone. And so I am thankful…
Thankful for the noise, the interruptions, the mess, the dirty laundry, the clean (unfolded) laundry, the fingerprints, the empty orange juice container in the fridge, the toothpaste gobs in the sink, the snoring of my mate, the three different songs being sung at once from different rooms on different floors, the ringing phone, the whining, the sighing, the out-of-tune cello, the lunches to pack, the emails to answer, the forms to fill out, the thank-you letters to write, the counters to wipe, the parties to plan, the snow to shovel, the flights to book, the schools to research, the ticket to pay, the paper to read, the friends to call, the kid to comfort, the dishes to load, and unload, the trash to take out, the teacher to question, the long-lost friend to find, the light bulb to replace, the gas tank to fill, the shirt to iron, the toilet to plunge, the sheets to change, the potatoes to bake, the show to watch, the child to tuck, the teeth to floss, the articles to edit, the bills to pay, the lamps to turn on, the papers to file, the reservations to make, the passwords to remember, the plants to water, the headache to get rid of, the meals to plan, the blog to write, the day to seize.