Welcoming Silence

In a house with five children, it’s not often that I can find a moment or two of silence.

Or privacy, apparently, as the child reading over my shoulder just pointed out that we more often than not have anywhere from 6-10 kids in our house.

But this morning I found silence! Who knew that it could exist in such quantity here? I sat and sat and not one child asked me for something, whined about something a sibling did to them or knocked someone or something over. I even dared to go to the bathroom, sure that within seconds a child would open the door and peer in to make sure I continued my record-setting run of not being able to pee without an audience. And guess what? No interruptions!

I can sense your astonishment and perhaps a hint of disbelief. And to answer the question on the tip of your tongue – yes, all of my children were home at the time.

How did I accomplish such a feat? Did the stars and planets align in such a way that complete peace and harmony was brought upon my household? Was duct tape involved? Alas, it was only because I was up before the sun and therefore before my children, who usually get up with the sun. For the longest time I just sat, soaking in the silence, afraid to move and shatter the beauty that is being able to hear your own thoughts. I meditated a while, sending good energy to a friend who was probably at the same time enjoying the peace and quiet in her house, but in a different way.

And then it happened. Music blared from my cell phone – the greatest interruption ever. The voice on the other end asked if I could come now, and off I went, waking up the big kids to let them know I was leaving and greeting the littles as they excitedly asked if they could come along for the ride. Big Sister Day had arrived. It was time to pick up Sonic (or so she insists on being called today) so her Mommy could labor on in peace and welcome Baby Brother into the world.

The ride to pick up Big Sister was filled with excited chatter. The ride home was strangely silent. As we approached home I finally broke the silence, asking why everyone was so quiet (two three-year-olds and a five-year-old usually don’t last 20 minutes without talking). Big Sister answered, “I’m too excited to talk. I think I’m growing bigger into a Big Sister!” 

Our stop at the grocery store was anything but silent as the kids tore down the aisles in search of cupcake supplies and had a raucous conversation about the merits of each balloon and whom should get which floating orb. The Big Sister Breakfast Feast back home proved quite boisterous as well.

We are now post silly-song-sing-a-long dance party and silence has once again overtaken the house as the children have built and nestled themselves into a fort with copious books, pads and pencils. I shall cherish this moment of stillness and use it to pray for my laboring friend, that she may find that silent place in her soul where confidence in herself and trust in her body live – and that she may draw from that place the power to birth her baby as she has envisioned for so long.

Little girl giggles are tickling my eardrums, signaling that it’s time to move on to cupcake baking and crockpot dinner making. Farewell, silence. May we meet again. Soon.

Postscript: Baby Brother was born at home at 10:18AM. Warrior Princess Mama and baby are doing well. 


  1. I always got up a half hour before my kids to get a daily dose of silence and peace to start my day.
    right now with a 6month old who has not learned to sleep thru the night yet i am not that lucky but as soon as said 6 month old does the practice will return.


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