The (LOUD) Music
by Lisa M. Roberts
- Wow, that was neat -- changing the 1999
to 2000 copyright date. So here we are, folks. It happened. A
new year, a new century, a new millennium clicked over...and
it looks like we all got safely to the "other side."
So now what?
- Well for me, it's time to get
ready for yet another celebration. Little Thomas, the child who
was conceived at the same time I started writing my first book,
is turning four later on this month. As I mentioned in my editorial
last January, I can no longer refer to him as my "baby"
-- he's a "real boy" now! And boy, is he for real.
Ever-curious, every-playful, ever-messy, ever-LOUD, ever-demanding.
Unlike this time last year, it's hard to still refer to him as
a "sparkle" in my heart...he's more like a firecracker!
- Like his older siblings, these
days Thomas seems to only emit that angelic-baby-peace at night
when he is sleeping. In the quiet and calm of tucked in blankets,
dark rooms and distant nighttime sounds...all four of them join
that divine space in time filled with harmony, happiness and
hope. But that space is broken abruptly at the crack of the first
waking child's dawn! And that crack whips my dreams right from
under me EVERY morning.
- As I keep reminding my family,
I grew up in a very quiet home. I was the youngest of three and
both my siblings were considerably older than I -- 6 and 9 years
older. My brother was an aspiring pianist so I would wake up
each morning to the music of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. My sister's
passion was reading (the most silent of activities), and my parents
were more often than not quietly occupied with household chores
and projects. Noise? That came pouring in only during the holidays,
when my cousins would tumble in for their visit.
- Fast forward to 2000 and my
family at present. Four kids from tween to pre-school, and a
spouse who was weaned on country rock. Let's just say I very
appropriately included ear plugs on my Holiday Wish List. But
guess who got an electric guitar for Christmas? My 6-year old
and 41-year old -- yes, two of them -- one a toy and one a BIGGER
toy! While I admit to thoroughly enjoying the elder's new favorite
pasttime (which lullabies me as I fall asleep), I am not at all
encouraged that the volume of this household is on its way down.
I insist on facing the new century based in reality. The rumblings
of small children will grow into thunder sooner rather than later.
And with a spouse who grew up banging drums in a basement band,
they clearly have a father who knows how to lead the way.
- So to me, 2000 marks the time
in my life when I start mourning not only the peace and tranquility
of my babies, but that of my own childhood. Not that I have any
desire to be a kid again -- I really don't (OK, except when I've
got the flu!) -- but I miss the calm, the structure, the effortless
days. Of course I realize those "effortless" days were
fashioned through great effort on the part of my parents, and
more than ever I appreciate all the work that was behind the
steady rhythm of my early life.
- My mother likes to remind me
that life is always changing, nothing stays the same. One look
at Thomas and that's clear. Yet even though for a long time I
craved such changes as greater freedom of movement -- that is,
not confined by strollers and diaper bags and nursing schedules
-- now that I'm firmly on this side of parenthood I see the tremendous
workload still up ahead. OK sure, I signed up for this life twelve
years ago and as always, it's time to move on. But honestly,
must everyone be so noisy about it?
- Lisa Roberts is the mother of four,
owner of The
Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC and the author of How to Raise A Family &
A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide to Home Business
(Bookhaven Press, 1997). Copies of her book are available for
purchase at EP