I walk through the house, turning off the lights, as the dishwasher hums in the background. I gather all the misplaced belongings and climb the stairs, careful not to step on the one the creaks. The house is quiet and I want to keep it that way.
After showering and brushing my teeth, I sneak into the boys’ bedroom for one last kiss and see their massive bodies sprawled out over their twin beds, arms and legs dangling in all directions. I laugh to myself, seeing their underwear decked out in Ninja Turtles and Star Wars, and at the same time I want to burst in tears wondering how on earth they got this big.
I quietly skip past Little Sister’s room, avoiding yet another creak in the floor, not brave enough to risk waking up my little toddler tornado for one final kiss. She will get plenty of kisses in the morning, after all.
Finally, finally I settle into bed and for a moment I sit there taking in the happenings from the day. In the quiet hour of the night, everything looks differently than it did during the day. It is though the pressures and inconveniences vanish and all that is left are the precious memories.
The 12th toddler tantrum of the day doesn’t seem nearly as exhausting.
Calling Poison Control for the second time this month doesn’t seem nearly as embarassing.
Reading and playing with my kids doesn’t seem nearly as time-consuming.
Cleaning up the basket of blocks for the fifth time that day doesn’t seem nearly as frustrating.
Reminding my boys to clean up their rooms doesn’t seem nearly as irritating.
In the quiet hour of the night, the haze that plagued me for the entire day is lifted and I can see clearly.
I see the precious innocence in my daughter’s eyes and her curiosity for the world around her.
I see the yearning for affection from my little brown-haired kindergartner, who just wants to snuggle up for some one-on-one time with Mommy.
I see zeal for life from a certain snaggletoothed second grader, who is so eager for the next big adventure that he gets distracted with the daily monotony.
The quiet hour offers a new perspective…a reflective take on the fleeting moments of the day. When the house is quiet and my children are fast asleep in their beds, I can take the time to appreciate the beauty of their individual spirits, something I sometimes fail to do in the chaos of the daytime.
As I pull up the covers and turn off the light, I am equipped with a new sense of purpose — to appreciate the little things and enjoy the precious moments I have tomorrow. It might not be a perfect day, but tomorrow night as I climb the stairs to the hum of the dishwasher, it will certainly seem that way.