Its the absence of sound here that hits me the most. When I come home, the dogs whine and bark, but no one asks “What’s for dinner?” No one calls out, “Mom, guess what?”
As I move through the house, putting away my work bag, reading the mail, starting dinner, there are no voices full of chatter. No one is laughing. No one is arguing over leggos or TV shows or bags of popcorn. No one is singing.
Eventually Paul comes home, and we talk about our day as we eat dinner, but then we open our books, or boot up our computers, and the silence descends once again.
Late at night, when I can’t sleep, I sometimes think that it was the cry of a baby that woke me. Sometimes I sit up, fully alert, because I know that I have heard a sweet voice calling, “Mom?”
How well I remember the sound of a tired, thirsty, slightly hesitant child, calling in the dark hours before dawn. “Mum? Mummmmmy? Ma…..?” A brief pause, then “Dad? Daaaaddy? Dad?” It was frustrating and aggravating when it happened, but now I would give anything to hear it again.
Sometimes we have music playing, and the TV is often on in the background. But it is still too quiet. There are no more voices calling. No more friends at the door, or horns honking in the driveway. No more cabinets slamming or heavy metal grinding from the basement. No more drums, no more guitars. No more crowds or crashing pots and pans.
No more noise. No more children.
Its just so damn quiet.