Last week, I awoke to a quiet house. I’m never a fan of Monday mornings… They usually mean I have to get some work done and the week has started, the calm and free time of the weekend has evaporated and dealing with the outside world sets in. But anyone who has children and lives in a “typical” family-oriented home will understand why silence can be a bit of a surprise, sometimes even concerning.
My usual Monday mornings involve a colourful choice between an infant wailing for food or a parent’s attention or my rambunctious five-year old son who thinks that my abdomen makes a pretty good trampoline if I’m quietly sleeping. In fact, since the advent of COVID-19, I’ve set an alarm every weekday morning but have never reached it as my children usually wake me up before I get there. Which is fine, right? That’s pretty normal for a family household.
But last Monday, I awoke to the dulcet sound of Joe Satriani’s “Always With Me, Always With You,” which is my morning wake-up alarm. It’s a smooth, guitar-based instrumental that allows me to wake without being jolted out of my slumber as though someone has connected a car battery to various parts of my body. Anyway, after a moment’s confusion I realized that I couldn’t hear a sound, which in this household is an abnormality.
A mild sense of panic set in as I wondered what was going on. The temperature was in the low teens with a steady rain, so I knew my oldest wouldn’t be playing outside (at least I hoped he wouldn’t) and Monday is a day off for my wife. I stepped out of my bedroom to find my son snoring softly in his bed with his iPad playing cartoons next to him. This is an oddity in itself because he went to sleep here in my downstairs office, last night. This means that at some point, he transitioned upstairs to his bedroom without waking anybody; a miracle unto itself.
The baby was quietly sleeping in his crib and I found my wife sitting on the couch, tinkering on her phone. We said good morning and chatted for a few minutes before it was agreed that my wife should go back to bed and sleep while the baby sleeps. I got a cup of coffee and toasted an english muffin and escaped to the solitude of my basement, which is where I do all my research, indoor workouts and my writing. I settled in and enjoyed my breakfast in a quiet solitude that any parent can agree rarely happens.
So, I sat there… Took sips of my coffee and actually played Mega Man 2 on a badly coded game emulator on my computer. I read a few chapters of a book and checked out a few things online and enjoyed the silence. And you know what? I honestly don’t understand the folks who claim they can’t stand being in silence. It’s wonderful. You can be alone and collect your thoughts, you can enjoy some much needed down time and it’s good for your overall mental well-being.
Eventually the bubble bursts, and it didn’t take long for my son to track me down and begin demanding breakfast. But having that little bit of quiet time every now and again can make a huge difference in one’s life. I highly recommend it. Whether you have a workout, read a book or flat out do NOTHING and just relax, everyone should enjoy a little calm and quiet. Every once in a while. ☯