Silence is Golden...and Terrifying

David Jespersen

As a single Dad of two young boys, ages 2 and 3 (correction, almost 4, sorry Aidan) I learned right away the joy and fear of silence.

I learned the phrase Silence is Golden when I was a kid, but no one ever told me how scary silence can be. When the boys were babies I longed for the quiet, a break from crying and a full night's sleep. But then the quiet comes and it brings with it worry. I can't count the times I got up to check on the boys to make sure everything was ok.

I figured once they got a little older that would change, silence would be golden again. Nope. The reasons for the fear have changed though. I don't worry as much for their safety when it's quiet, but I've learned to fear the consequences of the quiet.

Case in point, the other day the boys were playing like usual, with plenty of noise. They were running back and forth with cars from the living room to the kitchen and back. Then I noticed the quiet. They had gone into the kitchen and stayed, nearly silently. As I got up to check I could hear the giggles. In the same time it takes a normal person to sneeze, they had opened the fridge and pulled out everything. Condiments, food, fruit, milk, the works. It was all stacked neatly next to the fridge so they could use the racks as a racetrack. I admit, I had to step out of the kitchen to hide the laughter. Then I went back and explained why they couldn't do that anymore and helped pick up.

I've realized the good and bad of silence will never go away, the reasons will just continue to change. Ah the joys, and fears of being Daddy.

I'm sure you have similar stories, I'd love to hear them. I know I can't be alone in cherishing and fearing silence.

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