A rare and very strange thing happened to me the other day. A jaw-dropping moment that left me stunned.
What was it?
I found myself alone in the house.
All alone. In dead silence. In a clean house. With all the washing done and flapping in the sunshine. It felt like some Stepford type domestic fantasy.
To clarify for those of you who may not know, there are eight people living in our house. Yes, EIGHT. Now before you start picturing hubby and I as Brangelina style uber-parents (even though hubby IS pretty hot), we actually have four children, and my husband’s folks live with us half the year. Like it says on the packaging, ages three and up.
So the other day the older kids were at school, hubby was at work, while Mister Three and the grandparents were at the park. I was zooming around the house making mince-meat of my chores and crossing things off the To-Do list like there was no tomorrow; when suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks: the complete silence. Most definitely of the deafening variety. I actually stood frozen to the spot to confirm that there wasn’t a whisper to be heard anywhere in the house. At which point a huge grin spread slowly across my face.
So what did she do next you may well ask?
After posting a stunned Facebook status update to share the amazing news (naturally), I burst into song.
I started belting out Bjork’s version of “It’s Oh So Quiet”. And dancing. Badly, but enthusiastically. It was a very joyful cabaret moment just for me to enjoy. And I kept on singing while I went about my business. It’s amazing how good it felt. Obviously this house is always very full, and therefore very noisy. No low-volume civilised voices here, in good Balkan fashion we YELL. And that’s before us adults even start drinking. Then we ALL yell over the top of each other.
Then factor in the toddler interrupting most conversations to contribute his pearls of wisdom or ask for something. My oldest son keeping me updated on the latest news in comic book releases (do I care? No, but that doesn’t seem to stop him). My second son who subscribes to the old be-nice-when-you-want-something philosophy, and keeps me informed of future purchases on his virtual wish list. Miss Thirteen usually contributes to the soundtrack of the house with the mistaken belief that she can actually sing. So instead of discouraging her we crank up the Bose. (Okay, I confess: we have told her that she can’t sing, but she isn’t convinced). And with hubby’s hearing having long gone back in the garage-band days of amps set to eleven, the stereo is turned up accordingly. So naturally someone in another room will turn up a television to add to it all.
All that’s without the inevitable telemarketing phone calls EVERY night, family, friends, and neighbors popping in, and busy weekends.
And while I enjoy my full busy household it’s nice to know what I have to look forward to.
Though I hear there are some pretty good noise-cancelling headphones out there…