Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Quiet of the Night

It is 3:30 a.m. and I have been awake for over an hour. Instead of tossing and turning I have come to my desk. The house is peaceful and cool enough. It was 80 degrees in the study when I came in but I have opened a couple of windows and can feel the cool air lowering the inside temperature which is now 78. I have Pandora Radio on very quiet music (Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman are singing “The Prayer” right now) while I’m studying the scriptures and thinking. In a few hours one will be off to work, two others will be showering and getting ready to go to the doctor for checkups, another will be greeting the new day with a short walk to the stream and back and then will clean his bathroom (his Wednesday chore) before he showers, and me, I hope I will be asleep catching up on missed hours of sleep during the night. When I wake up during the night and realize I am not going to be going back to sleep I have mixed feelings. One part of me wants to be asleep while everyone else is and the other part remembers good feelings of being awake in a very quiet house where I can work at my desk without continual interruptions. A week ago as we were getting ready for bed Clark came in, as he does most nights, with his toothbrush which means he is out of toothpaste. He just stood there with his toothbrush not saying anything about it until I noticed. I have often accused Clark and Phil of snacking on toothpaste. How can they go through it so fast? A look in their bathroom shows that much goes into decorating the sink. One night Clark came in (without his toothbrush) to be with us and to talk (his daily word quota is much higher than mine). I just wanted quiet so I firmly told him to go to bed which took quite a few repeat commands as usual. On this particular night when he finally left I felt guilty. We are his world. I know he needs to go into his own room but I could be more patient, kinder. Kids, whether they are three or thirty eight, need what we sometimes don’t give them because our lives are busy and hectic. There are interruptions and many reminders and deadlines and appointments and meals and cleaning and repairing and shopping and…. I need to feel guilty at times so I can evaluate how I am doing and resolve to try harder. It works for a while. Now I am going to think about going back to bed. It has been good, these two and one half hours.


  1. A wonderful reminder.

    I also had a similar reminder of the importance of taking time for my kids. Yesterday, I discovered that my 7-year old daughter had lice. Ugh. So I sent all the other kids off to play at friends' houses, and we spent the day painstakingly going through her hair, strand by strand. About 2 hours into this, she smiled at me and said, "Actually, having lice isn't so bad. At least it lets me spend time with you."

  2. We have had so many exhausting bouts with lice. Not only do you have to go through the hair but also wash all the bedding. I do not miss that experience. What a sweet and humbling comment your daughter made.

  3. I just discovered this blog of yours - you have a gift for writing and I love reading about your experiences. This post was great. I never thought about guilt as a gift. I tend to feel guilty quite often and guess that a lot of women do. Thank you :)