It is rare, and it will be fleeting. Soon it will give way to requests for food, attention and money. There will be chores, weekend homework to complete before tomorrow, hair to be taken down for an appointment on Friday. Recyclables to be collected, a budget and meals to be planned and three lives coordinated into some semblance of order.
But for now, there is only silence. Morning television provides soft background noise. Neighbors take off to their various destinations for the day. The dog in the front house is barking at passerby. My house is quiet though. It's a wonderful thing, this quiet. I rarely have time to sit or ponder, and I welcome the respite from the constant business of my life.
I'm not used to quiet. Especially with my kids. My house generally sounds like there is a five-alarm fire in progress. My son listens to everything at top volume, and is not amused when I ask him to either turn stuff down or go get fitted for a hearing aid. My daughter is entering her drama queen years, when all conversations are conducted in high pitch whine. The kids are incapable of asking me a question when we are in the same room, necessitating answers shouted from the rear of the house. Coming back into the room to ask what the question was at a reasonable volume triggers instant amnesia. Ditto the oddball argument that pops up the minute I leave the room.
The arguments are legendary. If you think a 20 year old and a 9 year old have nothing to argue about, you have no imagination. We'll start with the classic "you get away with EVERYTHING" argument, and just descend from there. Sibling arguments are why I think earplugs were invented. I have had to listen to, and referee, some of the most inane arguments ever to come from two kids. Why, exactly, do dogs like to poop in our yard. Can Skittles really fall from the sky. Whether or not there was supposed to be cinnamon on graham crackers. And if I have to hear them debate the virtues of various superpowers one more time, I may gag them both. But it's the territorial squabbles ("Let me have the remote! Put my phone down! Don't throw that away! Get out of my room!") that are conducted at high volume and normally need my immediate intervention. Loudly and generally in the middle of some other activity being conducted in another room.
That's later. I just heard a door open, and I hear a sleepy voice behind me asking about breakfast. It'll take her awhile to get up to full speed, and she just plopped herself on the couch with a pillow and a small blanket. So far she's made no move to turn the TV, and is just laying there with a half grin on her face. I think she is learning to enjoy the silence, too.