Awkward Silence

Ahh. A silence bubbles up around me. The murmur of conversation at neighboring tables falls like a gentle rain. I am alone. I've worked all day giving advice about how to write perfect year book copy and I've flipped through hundreds of pages of yearbooks with a judges eye. Now alone I focus and soak in the loneness.

Sweet tea arrives in a mason jar along with cold cucumber soup. I slowly savor the half cup serving. A twenty second slurp takes ten minutes and I breathe in between spoonfuls. The clinking spoon and jingling ice sing to me. These noises are usually drowned by giggles and requests and bangs and shuffles of this and that. This moment is so tiny on time's line yet it surges through me. I am not known here and I'm soaking it in.

Suddenly, the baby pushes with foot and hand and elbow and bottom. I am not alone. My mind is alive. I need a pen. With a few napkins in hand and a borrowed pen, I write it all down. But, the only inspiration is that of the noise I've left behind.

Walk and work and worship and watch and wait and then squat and scrub and read and give and cut and build and glue and squish and chop and correct and laugh and cry and curse and sing and run and pick cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peas.

Stop for a nap.

Shouts of elation and joy, Amelia is reading, just a little, but she is reading. Cries of pain, her tooth isn't coming out. How does it just hang there? George Wilder brings me a hug and my water.

Dinner. We work on puzzles while the rice finishes cooking. The meal. Done. While the dishes are cleaned, daddy and kids sweep the yard once more for left behind squash and a last collection of eggs. A game of tickle before bath. After bath, Bible stories and bed.

And the day is done. Packed to the gills. This is what I think about, this is the noise that is most sacred. The noise of family.

Amelia calls to tell me her tooth finally fell out. I send a text to daddy with directions to the nearest collection of change for the tooth fairy.

Back to work.


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