It is 7:49 p.m.—or at least it was when I wrote this. A typical weekday night … no. Wait. Let me retract that statement as there is no such thing as typical in my household. The same household, mind you, my ever curious neighbor from down the street has, on more than one occasion, dubbed a sitcom. But, for the sake of my post, I’ll go ahead and pretend (momentarily) that this is a typical night.
So back to it … I am on the couch, home from an eight-hour photo shoot, a five mile run (which, by the way totally sucked), and a one way carpool trip to my son’s football practice … my husband isn’t here. He is at the golf course. And it is quiet … well, sort of. The dog is resting at my feet and for once isn’t making any of the obnoxious licking noises he has a habit of making, but other than that … it is quiet. No TV. No distant wash machine rumble. No telephone ringing. No neighbor’s lawnmower mowing. I look around the room and notice, that while my three children are all nearby, they too are silent.
My seventeen year old is the closest—she is sharing the couch with me, although she is painfully careful not to let any part of her body accidentally touch mine. She is feverishly texting, occasionally frowning, then smiling, and nodding her head. Silent, at least from my perspective.
Two chairs away, my ten year old is making funny faces at his iPhone (yes, he has an iPhone, don’t judge me)—he is, undoubtedly, midway through a heated game of something I’ve never heard of. But. He is silent, again, from my perspective.
A little bit farther away, my fifteen year old is happily snuggled into a corner with her computer. She has on headphones and is intently watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. And like her siblings, she too is silent, as far as I can tell.
And so, for a few moments anyway, there is peace. Silence. Tranquility. And we have family time … yes, yes, I know we aren’t gathered around the table for a rousing game of Monopoly, nor are we out riding bikes together, or picnicking, or doing any of those “traditional” family activities, but we are together … and we have peace. There is no fighting. No arguing. And I have my children home, in the same room as me, breathing the same air. And it makes me happy. And all at once I realize that technology and tradition can coexist. And I am thankful for the silence.
And then … the phone rings … it is my husband. I promised him I’d have dinner ready when he got home (something I’m a bit lackadaisical about these days) so I rise and I set my iPod on its little stand and let saveur.com guide me through hollandaise 101 and I wonder how people used to make the velvety sauce from printed words alone. Impossible, I say out loud. There is silence no more, and I wonder, while separating the yolks from the whites of three large eggs, what did people do before Saveur? Before technology?? Eat lumpy hollandaise? And for the second time in one night, I am thankful that technology and tradition can coexist and I wonder if Steve Jobs ever realized that his vision and innovation would help a twentieth century family achieve harmony?
Today’s post inspired by the Daily Prompt: Silence.