Yesterday as I was telling J. about our schedule for today, I mentioned that P., TM, and D. would be going to the Art Institute to do a drawing through the museum program with friends. As a result, because the son who requires extra vigilance and extra patience would be away, I said that it would be a quiet morning. This morning, after those three had gone and our house guest had gone to a cleaning job, J., on his way out the door was listening to the six children that were going to be left in my and A.'s charge and he laughed thinking back to yesterday's conversation. You see, the house at that point, with busy, busy, busy preschoolers was anything but quiet. It was rather loud, in fact. Happy loud, but still loud. He mentioned that perhaps my idea of quiet was rather different from most other people's.
I realized that it is. Quiet has come to mean 'without drama, disaster, or disregulation' in my world. It truly has nothing to do with volume. Thus with the main player in the drama, disaster, and disregulation camp away, the day was shaping up to be quiet. Even with the noise. I am so thankful for good friends who provide respite. It offers me a few hours to breath normally and even take a shower without wondering what chaos is occurring on the other side of the door. It truly is a respite... even with so many preschoolers dashing and yelling about the house.
I know this could make my life sound rather dreary and tense, but on a day to day basis it really isn't that bad and you get used to how your normal looks. This is especially true if you have been through real crises and can appreciate that bad is really much worse than what you are currently experiencing. It's like the rabbinic folk tale about the cow in the house. It's a great story and one that really feels as though defines my life. Essentially, a poor man goes to the rabbi to complain that the house is too small and noisy and everyone is unhappy. The rabbi tells him he can fix it if the man will do everything the rabbi says. The rabbi then tells the man to bring, one by one, farm animals to come and live in the house. When the man can't take it any longer, he is finally instructed to remove all the animals. When he does so, the house seems so large and quiet and peaceful that he is happy... even though it is back to the way it was when he originally complained. Brilliant. It's all about perspective.
Still it's nice to get a break every now and then.