The thunder began to roll just as they nestled into bed. I settled downstairs with a book, knowing I would soon hear at least one small voice. Mommy, I’m scared. Sometimes I’m annoyed by it, thinking my mother card has timed out already and can’t you just go to sleep? But this night, I expected it, welcomed it. I wanted them to need me, to long for comfort, to need mothering. I sat at the foot of her bed and read my Mary DeMuth book as she fell asleep, calm.

The rain continued to fall and I read on, entering into a narrative world of grief with small glimpses of hope mixed in. An hour passed, then two. I craved the quiet last night. I wanted the time to read and listen and hear. As rain echoed against windows and doors, I found myself thankful.

Lately I have tended to turn on the TV when I clock out of duty, my mindless escape from thought and responsibility. But the noise of it has become like a party goer with poor people skills, carrying on and on and never noticing if you are bored or angry or hurt or sad. He just keeps on talking and laughing and making his colorful noise. The life of the party. The look-at-me guest. I was happy to keep that guest from my living room last night.

Is it hard for you to find the time for quiet?