By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
Fleeting moments of silence are both rare and recently uncomfortable as they can be cause for panic or unwelcome reflection, both equally tied to parenthood. When my pint size partner isn’t sleeping, silence is the quiet before the storm. The rare occasion that she is in another’s care affords free time that is consumed by thoughts of her. Either is just as exhausting as chasing her throughout my day. It is the cruel joke of parenthood.
Somehow the stars aligned, technology failed and storms saturated an otherwise overwhelming and overbooked day. Left to my own devices, laundry was done, dogs bathed and what wasn’t available for worry was created as such. There is no quiet as silent as the absence of a child. Unable to turn to technology for pointless perusal, I found myself in an odd predicament. There was interrupted time for thought.
Failing to see the point in much needed self-maintenance, I simply sat down. Another odd event that has grown less familiar over the past two years. My mind drifted to a time long ago when humans were forced to think, socialize and exist without the immediacy of technological contact. Difficult to remember exactly how humanity behaved during such an archaic phase, I imagined the culture of the future. Will my daughter know quiet moments? Will she find hours that rely solely on her, completely void of the never-ending often over sharing input from the technological society?
How do I teach her to find joy in stillness? Her genetic make-up gives her no favor in inactivity. Will she know how to just “be”? With less than 15 minutes left to my seemingly eternal hour prior to her little feet running through the door, I find myself wanting a simpler time, a quieter time and time when conversations were had, not seen. A time when a friend was a thing to cherish, not to collect. A time when boredom led to imaginative creation and imaginative creation often led to memories.
Just as my mind is dancing with thoughts of her future, society’s path and a Mothers fear, the door opens. Silence is but a memory and the race is on. The storm passes, TV, Internet and telephone fills the room and the awkwardness of thought loses to tickle fights and technology. Added to my complicated journey of raising a child, is the desire to teach her how to exist without technology, if I can remember how myself.