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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: Hearing What You Have to Say
By Rachel Rudd


The alarm should have clued me in. It’s blaring bullhorn normally wakes the sleeping dead, namely me. But when I woke up at quarter past 9 to blinking red lights I knew something was wrong.

I jumped out of bed and rushed to the bathroom. An eerie quiet surrounded my walk down the hallway. Why did I not hear my kids tramping through the house howling for breakfast? I peaked into his room and found my 5 year old playing with his legos…noiselessly. Even the usual clicking of the bricks had disappeared. I ran into the room where my 18 month old baby lay talking in his crib, but I couldn’t hear him. My mind raced with questions. Am I deaf? Is there something wrong with me?

Then I detected two voices I hadn’t heard before.

“She never thinks to be thankful for all the chatter that they make. It’s so sweet to hear them talk to each other as they play.”

“Do you remember the time that she said “shhh” 100 times in one hour? You would think that she would enjoy the quietness now.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I have never understood why she fusses so much.”

The voices faded even as I scrutinized the source. I must be going crazy. First, I can’t hear anything and now I am hearing things.

I stomped into the bedroom and shook my husband from his sleep. He glanced at me and mouthed the words, “Why are you waking me up so early? It’s Saturday.”

“Say something out loud please. I can’t hear you.”

He shrugged his shoulders and rolled back to face the wall.

Then I heard them again.

“You would think she would let him sleep a little bit. He works 10 hour days and then comes home and helps her around the house. He tells the kids their bedtime story every night, too.”

“Yeah, I wonder why she doesn’t tell him how much she appreciates his hard work. He even painted us this nice blue color last fall.”

“Remember when he sang that song to the baby because he was cutting teeth? I could have cried.”

“It’s a good thing you couldn’t cry because you would have given yourself moisture damage!”

Something is really out of wack here! I can hear the walls talking. Maybe I should call a shrink.

“Do you think she’ll ever wake up and be thankful for all the good things she has?”

“Maybe, but then life would be a whole lot different around here.”

“Mommy, Mommy you’ve got to see this.”

“Shhh, mommy’s trying to write.” My husband said. “Don’t bother her.”.

“It’s okay, honey. Let me just put this laptop down and then I’d like to hear what he has to say.”

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This article has been read 495 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/10
What a great reminder to be thankful for the everyday chatter. Two in a row. I wonder if God is trying to tell me something? Thank you for the reminder to appreciate my family.
Dana McReynolds02/26/10
Great idea with the talking walls.
Tessy Fuller03/02/10
Very creative and it also had great meaning. Plus you even threw in a little humor with the "moisture damage" line. Very good read with a very humble reminder.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/02/10
I read it again after reading your hint, and I was even more impressed the second time around. Your words are so perfect. I'd love to see this given out by ministers when they are doing counseling before a couple gets married. What a beautiful reminder you have created.
Joan Campbell03/02/10
I really enjoyed your creative angle of (amusing)talking walls! The message to appreciate our children & husbands is powerfully brought across. Well done!
Virgil Youngblood 03/02/10
A fitting title for a well written story. Thanks for reminding me what really is important.
Ruth Stromquist03/02/10
I liked this a lot. And usually, I don't like "it was all a dream" type endings. You made this one work very well.
Lisa Johnson03/04/10
We should all go a little deaf now and then. Thanks for the reminder to pay attention to, and be grateful for our family. Congratulations for having a "highly commended" entry this week.