It was one of those days when the boys were fighting over everything.

The red race car.

The orange cereal bowl.

Who gets to tell Mom the baby’s asleep (True story.)

As dinnertime approached, I did my best to tune them out as I diced onions in the kitchen and prepped fajitas.

But my nerves were shot.

All the toddler debates, over and over and over and over. Which led to victory or defeat, meltdowns or gloating. Had just worn me down.

(I couldn’t ever finish a thought.)

It was just always so loud.

I needed a break.

Then, this happened.

The Sound of Silence

My husband watched the kids for 24 hours, and I went away. To my parents’ empty condo.

All alone.

No friends.

No music.

Just me.

My friend, let me ask you something.

Do you remember what silence sounds like?

Before slamming sippy cups and screaming toddlers. Before fussy babies and talking toys. Before blaring Doc McStuffins on max volume was the cost of getting the dishes done.

Just, silence.

Do you remember?

Silence is a decadent void of conversation.

A luxurious slice of nothingness.

A blissful piece of nothing-to-say.

It’s the sound equivalent of eating a rich dollop of the thickest, most luxurious whipped cream imaginable. It’s so light and perfect, you’re not even sure it’s real. It’s fluffy and delicious and perfectly sweet. When it’s gone, you wonder if it ever really existed in the first place.

Silence is so precious that I wish I’d treasured when I had it.

When you have screeching, arguing, learning, developing, testing-the-limits toddlers, it sounds silly, but you really do forget what silence sounds like.

It’s the sound of the air conditioner turning on in a quiet house. It’s the hum of your engine as you’re driving your car with the windows down on the empty streets at 5am. It’s the sound of my fingernails clicking on this keyboard as I write.

Silence is nothing.

Nothing to tune out. Not Disney Junior or the landscaper next door.

Nothing to explain. Not why we wear shoes or why we don’t hit.

Nothing to debate. Not why we’re having meatloaf or why we’re going to school.

Nothing to talk about.

Nothing at all.

No words. No talking. No explaining. No refereeing. No convincing. No debating.

Just nothing.

(Oh, the sweet sweet luxury of nothing.)

Silence really is such a beautiful thing.

When I had it, I wish I’d taken better care of it.

Because now I know how precious and fragile, and utterly glorious, the sound of silence really is.