I couldn’t sleep. My bladder was so full it hurt to breath or roll over. Luna puppy slept soundly on my pillow. There was light snoring going on from the far side of the bed as well. My head was already in panic mode thinking about the uncleaned house waiting for me. My baby brother and his wife are coming for a visit, and their flight arrives at 6:30pm today. I am beyond excited to spend some time with them, but it doesn’t diminish my innate desire to pretend perfection, showcase a house void of clutter and dust. Even though I am the oldest, I worry about impressing him for some reason. And yet, instead of getting down to business yesterday, I blogged. I shopped for a new shower curtain for the master bathroom. I snuggled with my puppy.
Rather than getting back in bed to try stealing a few more minutes of sleep, I decided to make a pot of coffee. As I sit here, coffee in hand, I am realizing that this is a different kind of quiet than the silence of the middle of the day. When no one is home, I find myself turning on the stereo or absorbing myself in the sounds of birds singing, neighbors talking, really anything to keep me company or pass the time until my family returns. But this, this is a comforting silence. My children and husband are sound asleep above me. Luna is snuggled on my lap. There really is no other sound I desire more than their presence.
The quiet house reminds me of nursing in the dark, feeling tiny fingers pressed against my skin, deep breaths in rhythm with my own. It reminds me of staying up all night with a sick child, mopping sweaty cheeks and foreheads with cool compresses, wishing with all my might that I could make them better. It reminds me of worrying through the morning about how The Tortoise was doing away on her first sleepover, or trying to hear tiny voices in the night when The Hare invited a friend over here for the first time. It reminds me of not being able to sleep the first night we moved here. I lay still for hours, feeling like it was a dream to be living in such a beautiful home, our first house picked out together. I am reminded that this is the house where we are going to raise our children, celebrate years of birthdays and anniversaries, prepare dozens of Thanksgivings with our families, roast marshmellows in the backyard, and stay up all night waiting for first dates or share hot chocolate over broken hearts. It reminds me of sitting on our front porch on a warm summer night, listening to the rain and watching flashes of lightening in the distance.
This calm will erupt soon, bring thunder of doors and drawers banging, feet shuffling, sleepy moans echoing. But with every storm, we find the rainbow, the smiles on our children’s faces, words of encouragement from our spouse, a stolen moment to remind us of our many blessings. Perhaps that is really what I should want my brother to see – our life. Past. Present. Future. It’s all around me in our family photos, the unopened boxes of cereal on the counter, the tennis shoes in the hall. Even on the hand print covered refrigerator and our overflowing basket of blankets.
It may feel like a storm at times. But it is a good one.