Second Story Resolutions

“Your world is so loud” I heard echo in my head as i sunk deeper into my bath filled to capacity with steaming hot water, Epsom salt for aching joints and essential oils for an overstimulated nervous system. 

I was tired today.  Not the ‘mom tired’.  The ‘viral tired’.  They’re different.  To survive the afternoon, I partook of a little, tiny container of a white bottle labeled “ENERGY” in bold, red letters.  The contents of this little white bottle were my salvation today and my clean house and nutritious dinner on the table were proof of its efficacy.  I don’t take them often and it had been long enough for my body to forget how to regulate itself under their influence.  

I was a happy, interested, patient, fun, and effective mom all afternoon.  In my contentedly busy state, I forgot to eat.  All day.  By 2:30 I was being reminded that my body was craving nourishment and my shaky shoulders and buzzing head were trying to remind me to stop.  sit.  eat.  breath.  be.   I ignored them both in the name of productivity.  

The older kids got home from school and the beehive became very busy.  By dinnertime I was a twitching, nervous, overstimulated, couldn’t-stand-a-single-unnecessary-sound, mess.  I faked patience until I couldn’t fake it any longer.  I threw up my hands after I took my last bite of red cabbage slaw, hugged my husband really tight and told him I was out.  Off the clock.  About ready to lose my marbles because the energy drink buzz, combined with the buzz of our hive was proving to be too much for my close-to-the-surface nervous system.  

I climbed in while the steaming water was blasting out of the spout, and relaxed to the loud gurgle of the water filling the tub.  As soon as it was full, I turned the water off, sighed a deep sigh and closed my eyes.  The kids were downstairs and even from the safe distance of the second story, behind a closed door, and in the darkened recesses of the master bathroom, I could still hear them.  I could still feel them.  Their intensity.  Major was crying.  Lennon was arguing about bedtime.  Piper was loudly debating life’s purpose with Crue (or why it’s not okay to pass gas in one’s face at the dinner table, or ever), and Crayton was singing loudly a happy tune, just for the sake of being heard amidst the noise and chaos of dinnertime cleanup.  Ryan was the Drum Major attempting to bring them all back into harmony.  For me, even from the safe distance, it was too much.  

I hurled myself out of the hot water and walked into the closet, dripping wet and suddenly in desperate need of ear plugs.  I searched through Ryan’s Hulk Hogan change jar where, for some unknown reason, there are usually a pair or two of ear plugs among the pennies and quarters and business cards (don’t try and figure any of that out.  I’ve tried and you can’t. Hulk, earplugs in change jars...no sense, i tell you), and came up empty handed.  I hurried over to the linen closet and figured I would find a pillow case to wrap around my head to drown out the intense buzz coming from the first story.  Instead, I was greeted by a bag of cotton balls when I opened up the closet.  Perfect.  

I took a cotton ball and ripped it into two pieces and shoved them down into my ears.  It was better but I could still hear the hive hum.  More muffled but ever chaotic.    

Still, I closed my eyes, relaxed my head back on my towel, and tried to relax but the noise was still too much.  I took the cotton out and dipped the two pieces into the water, rolled them into earplug shaped salvation and shoved them back into my ears. With the airiness now taken from the cotton, the noise was all but gone.  

That’s when I heard.  I heard me;  I heard my breathing, i heard my joints creak, i heard my heart beating, i heard my thoughts.  I heard me and that’s also when i heard her.

At the hospital where Major was born, there was a lovely lady whose employ it was to check the hearing of all of the newborns born into their brief watch.  As she came into our room, it became apparent that she, herself, was hearing impaired.  She talked to us about being hearing impaired, and how different everything was since she decided to get cochlear implants.  She said that shortly after she had the devices implanted, she was walking down a silent hallway.  She kept hearing a clicking noise that was so loud.  She would stop and look around to see if she could pinpoint its source.  She said that it took her several stops before she realized that it was the little hard ends of her shoelaces that were clicking together, making “all that racket”.  That’s when she said it:  “Your world is so loud.”  

I’ve heard her voice in my head say that sentence at least a thousand times since that day.  It’s served as a reminder for me to turn off the television.  To unplug.  To quiet the radio in the car. It has certainly served to make sense of the sounds coming from the hive of kids that are the loudest little buzzers in the entire universe (it seems sometimes to me.)  

But tonight it was different, her reminder.  I heard her say it and she was talking about me.  ‘Your world’.  She was talking about the world inside of me.  The deepest recesses of me, in the second story, way up in my head, behind the closed doors, where I think my thoughts.  Sometimes that world, the one that screams at me to listen to it, is really loud.  

But i’ve been sipping my tonic labeled BUSY in big, red letters and ignoring all of the buzzing coming from that room inside of me.  Tonight, as I shut everyone else out, I listened to my own thoughts.  My own breathing.  My own heart.  And all that noisy buzzing came together to harmonize into an orchestra of intention for the coming year.  

I listened and realized that I need to pay a little bit more attention to the loud clicking shoelaces that are clicking the messages for me to heed that say ‘set some goals.’ ‘do some art.’ ‘be more disciplined.’ ‘don’t get lost in the hive.’  And, ‘for pete’s sake, avoid the little white bottles labeled ENERGY!  But if you can’t because there are days when you’re ‘viral tired’, by all means, drink it up.  Just don’t forget to stop. don’t forget to sit. don’t forget to breathe.  don’t forget to be.’

I think i should take baths more often.  

1 comment:

Laura Kidd said...

I missed your thoughts. Thank you for sharing again. I remember those days and miss them a little now and then. My days are very quiet and some times lonely. I know that I have the freedom to do whatever I want now that my children are grown. I do enjoy that, but every once in a while I miss the business of a young family. Just once in a while though. I am glad you took some time to hear yourself. You are a wise woman and I love you.