Years and years ago, before we had children, my husband and I would go to the movies. Most weekends, we would spend at least a few hours huddled in the dark, watching the pre-movie advertisements that always ended with cartoon character reminding us that "Silence is Golden."
For the almost ten years I have been a stay at home mom, which stopped making sense when the kids got old enough for school and activities and we ended up rarely at home. This was how I justified buying a two bedroom condo for five people. "Honey," I explained to my husband, " we are hardly ever home."
And then this summer came and we were home A LOT. Three boys can be noisy. So incredibly noisy.
But fall has finally arrived and my three sweet boys are back at school, and this year for the first time, I have six whole hours to myself. Six hours for me to schedule as I please, no longer forced to follow the designated one giving to me by preschools, play groups, nap times, class times, six month check ups, etc.
Now the three boys and I ride our bikes to school in the morning, the middle one complaining that it is going to kill him each day. But I can be patient through it because in just a few short minutes, we will be at the school, their bikes will be locked up, the bell will ring, and off to class they will go. Leaving me alone for six whole hours. SIX.
So what to do with all that time.
Most days, I start by chatting with friends after the kids walk in their lines into their classrooms and the doors are closed behind them. Sometimes we even head to a nearby coffee shop to experience the joys of being a grown up, out and about without kids.
Eventually I make my way home, I enter the condo, lock the door behind me and just relish in the quiet. So much quiet and it's all mine. I'm greedy that way because I know that soon, sooner than I like, the quiet will be broken by the sounds of fighting amongst brothers and grumbling about homework and guitar practice.
But for now this quiet is all mine. I flit away time on Twitter, clicking through to interesting or silly links across the internet. I read another chapter in Isaiah. I write or edit or read or think. I look at couches online and order pens and pencils from Amazon so I don't have to leave my house. (Thank you Amazon Prime.) Sometimes when I am tired or have been particularly productive one day, I will watch some Teen Mom (research I say) or read a novel.
At some point I will realize how quickly the time is passing and panic for a brief moment before relishing the fact that I am no longer having to do the kindergarten pick up. No, I still have two and a half more hours of this blessed silence.
For me, silence is golden.
But then so are lunch dates with friends and mornings spent with the moms at church.
Can we make the school day any longer?