When Big was a baby, I spent a lot of time talking to him. We’d fill the silence with books, songs, games. I felt like it was my job to keep a constant conversation going. That’s how he’d learn to talk and read, after all. (Though after a birthday party the other day, my friend told me that she didn’t know it was possible for a 6-year old to talk through an entire live Stanford football game…so maybe I taught him a bit too well.)
With Little, it was a bit of the same, but we were busier with two kids. We didn’t have the same quiet to fill. Now our house is pretty much constant noise. Talking, laughing, screaming, running, jumping, eating, snoring. Sometimes it’s so constant that I don’t even realize I’m holding my breath, and I just need to exhale (which, when I finally do, is noisy as well).
Well, now that the boys are back in school, I have more time alone with Pink. And I find that when it’s just the two of us, I don’t talk much. Sure, we play, giggle, read, and dance, but we also simply enjoy each other’s company — side by side — in silence.
In doing so, I’m discovering that there’s magic and much to be learned in the quiet times too. We build patience, focus, and our senses.
This weekend, my friend could tell I needed one of these moments, and she generously took the boys for a walk. Pink and I walked up and down our street looking up in the trees for the butterfly my friend had seen before leaving. (Spotting butterflies makes me feel like my dad is near and watching over us.) We quickly discovered him and watched him dance above our heads. He landed, and we carefully — quietly — approached, trying to get a better look.
Though he started flying again before we could get too close, he continued to put on a show overhead. A butterfly friend even came by to join him for a few minutes. Then, like a kiss, the butterfly quickly landed on Pink’s shoulder, and flitted away into the sunlight.
That magical moment, it didn’t need words. It needed us to be present. It needed quiet. And, so it seems, we did too.