In The Silence

For five, oh-so-glorious (ha!) years as a mother,
my morning routine has been the same.
Now, granted, as Tyler has gotten older, the routine has changed shape in some ways,
but for the most part, it has gone like this:
I wake up. I wake Tyler up. I make sure we are prepared for the day ahead.
We grab breakfast, and we are out the door!
And, let’s be frank.
This morning routine is usually anything but smooth, calm, organized, or fun.
Really, it’s pretty much a battle.
If it’s not about brushing teeth, it’s about what socks are the most “comfy-cozy”,
or whether sunglasses are appropriate preschool attire,
or if his gi-normous transformer can be his “sleep toy” at school.
I mean, seriously.
I like sleep.
I like personal space.
I like to have some quiet time in the morning to gather my thoughts and
mentally prepare for the day.
(And, now, as I read that last set of sentences,
I am compelled to maybe change those “like” words to “need”!)
And these needs of mine have had to be thrown to the wind.
I have fought back the urge to kick Tyler out of my bed at 3am
when he disturbs my sleep and crawls in.
Every Night.
I have actively engaged in this thing Tyler calls the “morning hug”
Which is really more like a “morning tackle”,
And I have set aside my desire to listen to my music in the morning and surrendered myself to the musical likings of “The Wheels on The Bus” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
And while this battle has persisted day-in and day-out,
Not just the battle of the wills with Tyler,
But my own internal battle about what I want vs. what my five-year old wants,
the real “fun” begins when we hit the car. (embrace the sarcasm here)
This seemingly loooooong (albeit 10 min.) trek to pre-school every day
has often caused me to question whether or not I would be able to maintain my sanity.
(implying that I had some to begin with….
no snide remarks from the peanut gallery, please.)
This ride to preschool can be compared to Chinese Water Torture.
I am voluntarily trapped…yes, TRAPPED, in a moving vehicle
With a five-year old who won’t quit.
A human form of the energizer bunny, if you will.
Non-stop talking.
Constant questions.
A million-and-one music requests.
On and on and on and on it goes.
And all I want is some stinkin’ peace and quiet!
But, alas!
Today, Tyler went to Kindergarten.
He did great.
The bus came 10 minutes early,
Which was actually perfect.
There was only enough time for a kiss, a quick picture, and a wave goodbye.
Quick and painless.
Just like the removal of a been-on-too-long band aid.
So, along with my neighbors, I followed the bus to school.
I watched him get off the bus and make his way to his classroom.
I snapped a few more pictures (surprise, surprise),
Chatted with some people we knew,
Saw he was happy and comfortable,
And I made my way out the door.
(and, in the words of George Michael)…
freedom! Freedom! FREEDOM!
And then….
Three miles later,
I felt odd.
I heard a report on the weather and some local news.
(sounds simple, but this hasn’t happened in the car for years)
I began singing along to a favorite tune and could hear ALL the words.
And then I felt the lump. Deep in my gut.
I was feeling the silence.
No one was inquiring about how the DJ had “gotten into our radio”.
No one was yelling at me to “turn down the radio” so he could tell me how many times
He “pooted” in the “seat car” since we left home.
No one was verbally processing the ways that
Jesus could possibly be in our hearts and the sky at the same time….
(And looking at me to actually give him the answer.)
I glanced behind me.
I saw the empty “seat car”.
My favorite song played on, uninterrupted.
And I ached. Full-out ACHED.
The lump finally revealed itself as a tear fell.
The silence couldn’t comfort me.
Nor could my favorite song.
So, I let the tears fall.
And, I took a moment to reflect on the significance of
Our 10 minutes together in the car each morning.
And I wanted them back.
It was in this moment,
In the silence
I realized.
All this time that I thought I was attempting to cope with just how much my child needed me,
It just might be that I needed him more.
(Tyler D., I love you…. more than anything in the whole, wide world! –Mommy)

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