Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spiral Notebook Sunday: Wednesday, February 16, 2005

As I mentioned recently, our nest is not yet completely empty but it is emptier than it has been in almost 24 years. I have often heard empty nesters talking about how disturbingly quiet their houses are now that the kids are gone. If this week's Spiral Notebook selection is any indication, I am not likely to be that type of empty nester. [At the time of this entry, my own kids ranged in age from 10 to 16. Cranky Ex-Boss Lady's grandson Other Kid was three and a half and spent fifty hours a week at our house while his mother worked second shift.]


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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Cacophony" doesn't touch the noise in my house at the moment or at any given moment on any given day between 4 p.m. or so and (optimistically) 9 p.m. or (realistically) 10 or 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. Cacophonous could even be a pleasing jumble of sounds--unlike the noise here, especially this evening, which is layer upon layer of shrill, repetitive, pointless noises: Other Kid's combination of  vehicle noises and Power Rangers' catchphrases topped with the laugh track of an old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond topped with Son-One making zombie noises from '50s B-movies and pondering aloud (of course, aloud) how many times the extras cracked the leading actors up with their noises topped with Daughter-Only singing "Scotty doesn't know, Scotty doesn't know/Don't tell Scotty 'cuz Scotty doesn't know." (A dippy chant from the dippy movie Euro Trip.)

Of all the stress of parenthood--this, the din of pointless and louder than imaginable (or necessary) noises--gets to me in the sharpest, most tension-inducing way. Nails on a chalkboard and then some--SOS pad on my forehead just above my eyes. It drives me to distraction, takes a left turn and keeps going (doing fifty across the plains, alone, as SC used to say). It leads me to veer sharply from my intended topic of the evening and to write, instead, two paragraphs about the Agony of Da Noise.

15 comments:

  1. I have been an empty nester for 15 years. I have been very emotional lately and thought that even though it has been a long time, I might be experiencing the pangs of empty nest. After a recent visit to my daughter's house, I found that in order to have a conversation with her, I had to shout to be heard over the volume of the TV and the screeching of the kids as they chased each other around. It was then that I realized that instead of viewing my nest as lonely and empty, I should look at it as "ahh, quiet and peaceful." Perks of being the grandmother.

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    1. I look forward to those perks--just not too soon. :)

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  2. I can so relate to you on this one. The best (or worst, depending) is when all the kids are crying at the same time, for one reason or another. When all 4 are having a freak-out simultaneously, and the noise level reaches epic proportions, Ian and I just look at each other and laugh. What else is there to do, really?

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    1. This reminds me of when we visited my in-laws when mine were young and my mother-in-law (who adopted Hubby and his brother from foster care when they were 4 and 5 and much later had a biological baby girl--so never had more than one really young child in the house at a time) said, "What do you do when they're all crying at once?" Triage. We did triage. And yeah, laughing sometimes is the only logical thing to do. :)

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  3. We had really been enjoying our empty nest . . . for about 3 minutes . . . then our son and his wife moved in with us. Then we got "Little Boy", and now my daughter is coming home from college in a few weeks. We're just missing my 21 year old :)

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    1. Ours are still coming and going a bit, too. I imagine the reality of either the empty or full nest is always a mixed blessing.

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  4. I used to think that the empty nest days were going to be just that: empty. What I discovered is quite the opposite. Although I loved having my kids at home, I love having them NOT at home too. I soooooooooooooooooo appreciate the solitude (can you tell from the MANY times I reference that in my own posts?) and the time to do my own thing. The pleasures found in an empty nest were quite surprising to me.

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    1. Not there yet, but I can almost smell it from here.

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  5. For years my house has sounded like this: "What if the wind comes down and blows out our windows? Then, do you still want me to get ready for bed, Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?" "I want to play the guitar–LISTEN!!!!!" I can play the drums! SEE!" "Watch as I light this battery on fire while you are trying to read!" "Do you think I could be a famous soccer player?" "How about a famous baritone player?" "Hey–listen to this dub step music!" "Come see this scribble I made in the other room–RIGHT NOW!" SLAM! CRASH!SHATTER!

    I could imagine a little solitude being a good thing.

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    1. I have much more solitude now than ever. I revel in it. Revel, I'm tellin' ya.

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    2. Tara! That was too funny! And oh so familiar in a long ago way! I loved it!

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  6. Bring in Da Noise... and so on.
    I can relate to this. And to Tara's comment. I long for an empty nest sometimes. The SOS pad just above the eyes is a very apt description. I don't think it's even a metaphor. That's exactly how it feels. It makes something just above my soft palate vibrate and I can taste adrenalin.

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    1. My soft palate is vibrating in memory and sympathy. ;)

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