In our house I feature a "word of the day". It's really my feeble attempt to force my children to have an impressive vocabulary. But while I encourage them to use beautiful expressive words like "eloquent", "intrepid", and "serendipity" they still choose to use their own favorite descriptors like "tight" and "epic", although my favorite is the made-up "sarcasmic".
Today's word of the day is boisterous. Today's word makes me a little sad.
There was a time when this house was constantly boisterous. With 4 children and 2 dogs, how could it not be. The children were always underfoot. Always climbing the furniture...and the counters...and the walls even. They were always squealing, and laughing, and exclaiming with delight. And yes, they argued and fussed at one another when someone didn't "play right".
This morning my house is anything but boisterous.
The youngest (on the verge of turning 9) has run off to a neighbor's house to play. The two middle children are quietly reading, each immersed in their own worlds, headphones blaring their own music. The oldest is cooking his own breakfast. At 16 he doesn't need (or want) my supervision or input.
Don't get me wrong. I like the calm. I need the calm. I dreamed of the calm for years (years I had to sneak into closets with chocolate bars just for a few seconds of peace).
But I miss their exuberance. Their delight in the small things. The vibrancy that filled this house in my children's younger years has faded to a dull glow. And surprisingly...I miss it...a lot.
Of course, older more experienced mothers told me in their infinite wisdom that I would miss it. But I hadn't given it much thought, I hadn't even realized it was missing...until that silly word of the day brought it to the forefront of my mind.
Makes me want to grab each child and hold them close for a little too long. And smell their hair and feel their hearts beat. But that would be a little creepy, so I'll just tousle their hair in passing, look them in the eyes, and maybe slap them a high five.