Because we homeschool, my kids are together pretty much all the time. They eat together, do chores together, sit around the table together for school, play games together. Then, after a day full of togetherness, they head upstairs to rooms they share with their siblings - boys in one room, girls in the other - and they sleep together.
With so much togetherness, you'd think they'd get tired of each other. But here is a fairly common scenario at our house: It's an hour or more after all the last kid has trouped upstairs for the night. Steve and I are finally headed to bed. As I make the rounds of closing down the house for the night, I hear whispered voices drifting down the stairs.
"Girls, it's nearly 11:00! Why are you still awake?"
"Oh, we're just talking," comes the reply.
"Well, stop talking and go to sleep!"
Last weekend, one of the boys sat groggily poking at his breakfast. "Man, I don't feel awake," he complains.
"What's the matter - did you not sleep well last night?" I asked.
"Oh, no, I slept fine. It's just that we were up late talking."
And just yesterday morning, two of my highschoolers had such a hard time not chatting and instead focusing on their math that I threatened to send them to different rooms to do their school work.
These children spend almost every waking hour together. They are always talking with each other. Plans for another fort. What color of yarn they need for a new doll's hair. Preparations for the opening day of turkey season. Prospective jobs. News from the next door neighbors. They chat back and forth all day long. Then, as often as not, they stay up and chat well into the night. So, when I'm shutting down the house at the end of the day, my question is - what on earth could they possibly have left to talk about?!
I hope that five years from now, and twenty-five years from now, and long after I am dead and gone...as long as they have voices, I hope that they are still talking.
As for this quiet Mom, I am afraid that when the last bird flies from the nest, the silence in this house could be deafening.
4 weeks ago