Pattering of feet running hard across tile floors. The wheeling of a shopping cart buggy being pushed across the wooden planks that make up our back deck flooring. Squeals of delight as the music to Frozen starts up. Tears and tantrums. Oh the incredible tantrums. The call from one end of the home for “Mommy!” And, let me tell you one cry for Mommy will never do. It is “Mommy, Mommy… MOMMY!” Until I arrive.
The other evening Nathan was in the shower and I was folding laundry in our bedroom, while the TV on my dresser played in the background. Lo had settled into her evening routine which usually consists of playing hard with Nathan and I after we arrive home from a day a part, then playing alone as well take care of dinner or evening chores.
She talks to herself as she plays imaginatively with her toys that scatter our floors. I could hear her giggling as I folded the last bit of clothing and it hit me so suddenly the magnitude of her tiny, yet mighty presence.
Nathan and I dated nearly seven years before marrying, four years ago, and we waited two years of marriage before we had Lo. The majority of our lives as a couple has thus far been spent as two. However, nearly two years ago, she entered the world with a cry and since that very moment our world has been graced with a third voice.
I never realized how much it would control and demand. When the clock strikes 3:00 am and she cries out and every bone in my tired body wants to stay wrapped in the comfort of bed, that third voice drives me from the warmth.
I never realized how quickly I could gauge mere vocal inflections. As she has yet to find all her words, shrieks and squeals reveal the magnitude of her situation. Is it fear, is it excitement or is it wonder? From another room, I know what sound requires me to drop what I am doing and rush to her side.
I never realized how much a small human can talk. As she sits on our lap, past her bedtime and babbles with no end in sight. We smile and nod our head and answer “yes” and “uh huh,” but that third voice captivates our attention.
I never realized how much a giggle can bring happiness and relief. When a day is stressful and long, her little happiness can control my emotions and make me feel content and complete.
It is hard to imagine that these walls in this home had any story to tell before her. How quiet we lived prior to her.
She brings joy, laughter, fun and wonder into our lives. Adjectives and emotions that tend to be or feel missing from the norm of adult interactions.
I cannot recall the silence that existed before her. I have no reason to and do not want to. The silence is and was lonely as a whole. Her third voice breathes energy and life that swirls around through these walls and rooms taking our house and making it feel like home.