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Privacy and Quiet


Privacy and Quiet

They may actually be the two things that parents get the least of and want more than anything else. I remember as a teenager how I could never understand the fact that my mother always wanted to ride in the car in silence, and I always had to beg her to turn the radio on. She only had one kid! My dad was a really quiet person too, when he was in town, but my mom craved that silence and I just didn’t get it. I do now. I was in the car the other day without any children for once, and the radio was annoying me and I was changing stations, and then I actually remembered that I could just turn it off. God, it was wonderful.

I watch my husband trying to meditate on his bench outside sometimes, and the kids just run in and out and all around the house, screaming, fighting, complaining, questioning…he just keeps his eyes closed and sits there. The man is a trooper. When I get in my zone I can fight like crazy to ignore them. Just now my daughter came up behind me at the computer and petted me. Seriously, she walked up quietly and gave my hair a few strokes and walked away. Creepy, right? They know that it really ticks me off when I am writing and they come up and read over my shoulder, so now I guess that they have resorted to planning bizarre forms of harassment to distract me.

It never fails that every time I head for the bathroom, I have one of them trailing behind me because suddenly they need to desperately ask me a question. The other day my son asked me who the first black singer was. How do you even approach answering that question? Every time that my husband even touches me, every time that we are even being the slightest bit romantic, there are always little eyes there, as if on cue, staring us down. I can’t wait for the phase when mom and dad kissing gets gross…I seriously cannot wait. Even when they were babies, as soon as we got smoochy, there would be crying. My husband and I joke that they are determined to prevent the creation of any other siblings, like it’s a survival instinct or something. I have no idea how my third child managed to get herself conceived.

And I have absolutely no advice for any parents concerning quiet or privacy. I don’t think that there is any solution. Maybe knowing how many other brave souls suffer through the deprivation of these vital necessities will be helpful. I guess we should all remember to appreciate the silence or the privacy when we actually get them for a moment or two. At least I understand now why my mom was so weird about her peace and quiet. I suppose one of the reasons that we have kids is so that we can learn to appreciate those very things.


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