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Can I Get a Moment of Silence Please
by Sarah Brooks
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My daughter can talk!! And when she talks it is LOUD!

We went out to eat tonight, mostly because there were no clean dishes in the house. This was due to the fact that I always think, “well, if I turn this like this, and move this around to here I can get one more dish in the dishwasher.” And so I close the door to the cleaning machine and put off starting it in anticipation of that cylinder shaped dish that is 2 inches in diameter and is triangular shaped at one end and would be the perfect fit for that last space. It does not come along in time and I am stuck, once again, with no clean dishes in the house. Resulting in a necessary trip to a restaurant.

My husband and I spent much time calculating all the pros and cons to a) getting food to go and bringing it home to eat out of Styrofoam containers with plastic ware. Or b) loading up 3 very hungry and extremely hyper kids (looking VERY forward to the powder puff football game that was next on our agenda) to go into the restaurant for a “peaceful” family dinner. Words of advise for ANYONE ever trying to make a similar decision… always, ALWAYS go for option b. Stay home! By all means, Stay - At - Home!!!! I wouldn’t go so far as to say my kids were poorly behaved. But you should not, unless you are planning a trip to the funny farm anyway, take a one, two and three year old out to a sit down restaurant after promising an exciting outing afterwards.

The 1 year old, Elijah, who didn’t have the foggiest idea that we would be going to the game next, was all hyped up due to the older kids excitement. Isaiah, the two year old, loves, loves, loves, football and while he was very eager to be there already and was a little confused as to why we had to make this little pit stop, is also like one of his parents (and it is not his ever gracious father). He gets irritable, cranky, and confused if his stomach is not completely full at all times… so his patience was wearing somewhat thin. Elyse, the oldest was fine except for that trait that she received from the same flawed parent who loses all capacity to function between feeding times. (Yes, if you haven’t figured out which parent this is yet it is, yours truly) And that is the gift of gab! I myself have been told I was gifted in this area for many years. Thinking it was a compliment of sorts, you know I thought people thought I was a good conversationalist. I looked up gab in Webster’s dictionary. I am now somewhat offended by those people (and by THOSE PEOPLE I do mean my parents) who have so lovingly bestowed on me this title of sorts, for years.

Gab: to talk in a rapid or thoughtless manner (I am ‘gabbing’ in a very thoughtless manner now, mother and father.)

When Elyse gabs it can be heard from rooms away. You can spend the entire meal saying, “Elyse, talk softer.” And I really do think she thinks she is making a great attempt to lower her voice, in fact she does. The very next thing out of her mouth is a politely whispered “okay.” Followed by a resounding “Hey Daddy, Guess What We Did Today!”

A few months ago I took a walk with the kids to the post office. Elyse chattered non-stop. About the blown up snowman in the yard, a stick she found on the ground, every single car we passed, and her ideas for what we should do for the rest of the afternoon. That evening I was telling Jarrod about just how much she went on and on and on and on… He laughed, unsympathetically.

“What is so funny?” I demanded.

“Your dad is somewhere laughing his head off right this very minute.”

You see as our pastor at the time of Jarrod’s and my engagement, my father did our premarital counseling. My parents thought this was the perfect licensing to warn Jarrod of all that he would be dealing with. (I think it was their secret attempt to scare him off in an effort to keep me around longer. They swear they were more than ready to hand me off but I know the truth). My dad took this time to tell Jarrod, in great detail, of all my rambling, droning, and all around obnoxious prattling. Jarrod went ahead with the marriage despite their best warnings and has been looking for ways to tune me out ever since. He knew now that my dad would feel somewhat repaid by my own similar subjection to non-stop chattering.

However in those moments of wishing for just one quiet meal I am reminded that in a few short years my house will be so eerily quiet and I will yearn for a table full of excited stories and dramatic gestures. Just as I know my own father, at times, longs for just a little bit of chatter. And how my other Father, my heavenly Father, never tires of hearing me, or my daughter (who at three already talks to him often on her own) talk freely, loudly, excitedly about all that is going on around us.

I am determined to enjoy the constant talking… except at bedtime… and I would be okay with her lowering her tone just a little bit. Because these days are so short, just ask my parents, or your own. And soon you will be left with quiet memories that are not near close enough to the real thing. I feel it passing me by already. With a little boy who, at times, does not want to stop playing to come give me a hug, or a daughter that would sometimes rather share a laugh with a friend than with me. And then there is the baby who is just now discovering so much of the world around him that he has become less content to sit on my lap and lay his head on my shoulder. I am determined to learn to enjoy all of these fleeting moments.

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