I’ve felt completely frazzled lately. Our girls have been talking incessantly. They talk from the time their feet hit the floor in the morning until they put their heads on their pillows at night. They ask the same questions over and over again and I answer them over and over again. They give me the current Zoe report. Zoe’s our cat. Zoe’s asleep on the car. Zoe’s eating her food. Zoe’s walking down the driveway. Zoe’s coming up the driveway and she’s got a mouse in her mouth. Zoe’s sitting on the front porch. They talk about how Daddy has to go to work later and that they want to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They talk about what kind of cupcakes and presents they want for their birthday. They ask where Taylor’s going and then after she leaves they ask “Where’s Taylor?” until she gets back home. They ask what that noise is that I can’t seem to hear. They ask “What’cha doin?” all day long. Especially if I’m in the bathroom. They talk about their beloved animals and their favorite cartoon characters. Garfield likes lasagna and Chance ate a button. They tell me it’s raining and that there’s a squirrel in the yard or a bird in the tree. They tell me they have to go to the bathroom. Every single time.
I’m a gal who enjoys quiet. I’m not sure I even remember what quiet sounds like. I’ve found myself hiding in my bedroom eating Hershey’s Kisses more times than I care to admit. Chocolate is my friend. It helps me find my happy place. I’m almost always in my pajamas by 6 p.m. just waiting for bedtime. It’s amazing how many questions a couple of little girls can ask between the hours of 6 and 8:30 p.m. And unfortunately my brain turns into goo during those hours and I can’t even process what they’re saying. I say “uh-huh” to whatever they say even though I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying.
Once their pajamas are on and their teeth are brushed I say the two words that don’t seem to mean much to our girls. Stop talking. Some nights they stop talking and fall asleep quickly. Some nights they don’t. But once they fall asleep something totally amazing happens. The house is quiet. I like quiet.
After an extremely difficult day I heard a voice in the night. She whispered in my right ear the words “I love you, Mommy!” I don’t normally enjoy being awakened at 3:30 in the morning. But I smiled and said “I love you too, Hopey”. And then my heart melted a little and I began to cry. I cried because our girls voices are a gift that I had been seeing as a burden. I began to think about parents of nonverbal children. They would love to hear their child ask a million questions. They go to bed at night wishing they could hear the words “I love you, Mommy” or “I love you, Daddy”. My heart broke as I prayed for parents who can’t hear their child’s voice. And I thanked God for changing my perspective and showing me that our girls voices are a gift.
I still have days when the constant chatter can be difficult to endure. I got 4 hours of sleep last night and I’m not handling the chatter very well today. I will probably be hiding in the bedroom this afternoon devouring a handful of Hershey’s kisses and desperately trying to find my happy place. God will remind me that tonight the house will be dark and quiet. And I will receive the greatest gift that a mommy can ever receive. I’ll hear those four words “I love you Mommy”. Not once but twice.