Anyone with kids knows there is rarely ever a quiet moment in your house.
Sometimes, late at night, when they are finally in bed, or early in the morning before they wake, I stop and notice “the quiet” because it is so rare.
A house full of kids with laughter and noise is a happy house, to be sure. But how many times have I wished for a quiet moment in the middle of a Saturday afternoon? It’s a moment that rarely comes.
I remember when my kids were very young, people would say to me: “They grow up fast, enjoy these years!” I was like, really, because these sleepless nights and temper tantrums seem to be endless, like they will last for eternity.
But they were right. Those years did go by too fast, and even now, I can close my eyes and imagine my girls in the backseat of the car in their car seats with pacifiers in their mouths. Now I look back and see their noses buried in their iPods.
So, I started thinking about these years, “the middle years” some people call them, when my girls are just on the edge of becoming young women, but are still technically children. How fast will they go?
“Fast,” my 10-year-old tells me in between bites of cereal.
“I’ll be going to college before you know it,” she says with a smile.
And I believe her. I believe that if I close my eyes and open them again, there will be a young woman sitting across the breakfast table from me getting ready to leave for college.
As I sit here on a rare quiet Saturday afternoon, one daughter at a friend’s house, the other on a school trip, I revel in “the quiet” I have so desperately longed for all of these years.
But, at the same time, I feel just the beginnings of the longing I will experience when they are gone. So, while I appreciate the moment, I am not ready for a quiet house, because these years will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.