Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
TITLE: The Introvert
By Taryn Deets
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I can hear my heartbeat quicken and feel the blood rise to my brain as my temples throb. Correcting this child is always, as Forest Gumps mother (in Forest Gump the movie) says, like a box of chocolates, you never know what youre gonna to get.
The front door slams, Hi mom!
Trying to calm my nerves, I turn to my 16-year old. Hi love, whats up, why are you late?
Wait, turning from him to Artist, Can you please turn that music down, I can barely hear myself think!
The doorbell rings, the dog rushes to the door, barking out his message of protection should the visitor prove threatening, and ready to administer death-by-licking if not.
Hello, Madame. I greet him, move aside as he brings his basket full of groceries to deposit on my counter. I pay and tip him as he leaves.
I walk back into the family room, turn to Compassion, waiting for his explanation, Well, I stayed after school to help the 11th graders with a project. Sorry I was going to call you, but I ran out of minutes on my ph
MOOOOMMM! Tell her Giggles close behind Soccer into the room like a flash of lightning as they race through the kitchen and out into the living room.
STOP! I yell, my hands over my ears.
Everyone turns and stares at me. What? their expressions seem to say.
What were we thinking, Lord?
They continue to stare as if Id just grown two heads, I smile a little sheepishly, I didnt just say that out loud, did I?
Our sixth-floor apartment, located in a large African city with its four bedrooms, is now home to seven of us. Had you asked me 10 years ago, when our family of five adopted three kids, if I could ever have imagined living in an apartment with this crew, Id have laughed hysterically. Add that wed be living in the Middle East some day and I'd have thought you were crazy. In 2007, the summer we flew to Addis Ababa, we werent thinking about the fact that we would eventually have five teens and a twenty-year old someday, only the joy of bringing our new children home.
Some day is here. And on any given one, because I homeschool three and have two in school, managing everyones schedules, educational and social needs, moods, and teenage angst, by the end I am frazzled, my introverted self in need of quiet in the midst of the constant cacophony that is my life.
When I think of my friends who have littles, and my other friends who are empty-nesters, I am wistful for days gone by and at times anxious for quieter days to come. Yet isnt that so like us, in our human condition, to always be looking forward or back?
This year, even amidst the tumult and racket that sometimes fills this apartment, God is teaching me to be content, to not rush headlong wishing for anything but this present moment. Hes reminding me that all too soon, just as my littles have become teenagers in the blink of an eye, they will be out the door and our house will be much too silent again. And I dont want to regret moments wished away!
Loud laughter, emanates from the dining room, and I realize that all five have congregated there, and even the wayward Filly is grinning from ear to ear. Theyre playing Basra, and Artist is teaching them to count the points in Arabic. Deal me in, I say as they start the next round. The quiet respite of my room can wait a few more minutes.
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