Saturday, November 20, 2010

Silence

It's a quiet Saturday afternoon at home. Nicky & Shay are napping on the chaise. Morgen is beside me on the couch; I'm writing & she's playing a video game. Moments like these aren't particularly memorable. Years from now it won't be hey remember that afternoon in November when we did nothing spectacular? But I've determined that these are the moments that make life worthwhile. It's not the laughter or the tears. Families are not defined by their tragedies or accomplishments.

They are marked most by the quiet moments together.

Otherwise why would parents, even the most practiced, still sneak into their newborns nursery solely for the purposes of watching them sleep? We stand in the dark marvelling at our creation, entranced by the flutter of lashes as she dreams. The silence allows us the unique opportunity to hear a soft sigh or a dreamy chuckle.

My current introspection has inspired me to reflect upon the series of silences that have formed the foundation of my life. The very first one, the one that changed my life forever, the one that marked my transition from child to adult, girl to woman, was minutes after Casey Flade came into this world. She was screaming angry, I was exhausted, my mother was crying, my dad quietly telling me how proud of me he was [you see, I was only seventeen and newly so], and the nurses and doctor's talking over or under us all as they went about their routine procedures. Then suddenly they were handing the baby back to me. She was clean and wrapped warmly and no longer wailing with righteous indignation.

The silence that so abruptly replaced the noisy chaos that had reigned just a second before was nearly lost on me as I stared intently at the tiny miracle I held. And there, in the silence, stunned, terrified and insanely, madly, in love with the tiny person nestled in the crook of my arm I gave up being Becky Flade, Maryjo & Kenny's daughter and became Becky Flade... Casey's mom.

Over the following seventeen and a half years, I have had many more silences none any more or less profound than that first one and Casey has been by my side for nearly every one. She's nearly done high school, making plans for college, preparing to leave home, leave me, and I will have to face my silences without her, for better or for worse. And she'll begin collecting her own moments, good and bad.

These thoughts make me sad, happy, proud, maybe even a little maudlin but the one emotion overriding all the rest is gratitude.

Thank you Casey

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