Joyful Noise

by Stefani on 21-August-2007

Am I the only bad Mama who was ever done this?

My boys are scaling the walls, shrieking and running around, bouning off the furniture like bumper cars, and I say, “Hey guys, can you keep it down?”

More shrieking.

“Guys, serioulsy, can you take it outside or quiet down for a little bit?”

Yet more shrieking.


No one even pretending to listen, let alone give a flying flip.


Blank stares from all, for the psycho mom who is now yelling about not yelling.

Another shining example of my mothering skills.

Well, today, we had some buddies come over to play. Their mom is a dear, sweet friend whom I love all to pieces. We go way back, but we lost touch over the years. We managed to reconnect in the last few months though, and it has been such an unbelievable gift for me. Not only do we have her and her fun husband back, but they have brought with them some of the most scrumptious little cherry pies that you can imagine. Two girls and a boy have joined them since we hung out with them last.

Her little ones are a perfect fit with mine. The orderly, determined oldest plays great with her mirror image, my Luke. The wildly charming middle kid cooks up fabulously devious schemes with my equally wild and charming middle kid, James. Her easy going, little dumpling youngest hardly misses a beat when my littlest punk orders him around.

It’s a little slice of heaven, a very LOUD slice of heaven.

Honestly, I’m really glad to know that it’s not just my kids. Glory be, her kids are as ear-splittingly loud as mine! Seriously, this makes me so happy, because it either means that mine are normal, or that we have good company in our abnormalness! Brilliant!

All six ran all over the house, crap flying in their wake, paint peeling off the walls from the sheer strain of the decibel level, and then I gave them sugar, because I’m a sucker for punishment.


Then just about the time the noise level began to get to me, I heard Ryder make some sort of little slurpy gurgling noise with his popsicle that reminded me of the baby noises that he used to make. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The baby noises! The sweet baby noises that are all gone now. I remember how I ached for those little noises to evolve into a first word, a first phrase. Then I hung on every little syllable, waiting for the barking demands to flower into sentences that revealed his personality and ideas.


It occurs to me that today’s noises will fade away just as those gurgles have. In a blink, I’m afraid, my guys won’t feel as free to just yell or cry out or giggle with such wild, childish abandon.


I will miss these sounds when they are gone. At my core, I know that to be true. So, I will try to remember it, the next time their sweet, angelic little voices are driving me to bellow, “WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST BE QUIET FOR ONE BLOODY MINUTE???????”

I don’t really mean it. Not really.

So thanks, friends, for helping me see the beauty in noise today. It was a good lesson for me.

And you know, it was probably a good lesson for my boy to get his butt kicked by a girl too. 🙂

Molly August 21, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Looks like a fun evening for all! I must tell myself several times a day when I think I’ve had enough “I’m going to miss this one day”. I’m going to miss getting someone something to drink every five minutes (where are all those cups of water I serve anyways). I’m going to miss getting another piece of paper, and scissors, and sharpening a pencil. What will I do with all that time one day when I’m busy missing?

Sarah Jackson August 21, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Wow. That one hits home. I’m the same way about the noise. I always have to remind myself that the things that drive me crazy now are things I’ll miss dearly when they’re gone. Especially now with the oldest one. Just relax and enjoy and know that it’s okay to just want some peace and quiet every once in a while. When you’ve had some peace, the noise sounds that much better.

Amber August 22, 2007 at 12:06 am

Oh man – I think I am that psycho yelling mom too much! This was a great reminder – thanks :-)!

dana August 22, 2007 at 5:16 am

Bingo! I’m the same way! Sometimes the noise just gets to me and in order to get them to hear me I have to yell, “BE QUIET!!” Then I feel bad because they are just being kids with reckless abandon.

Tracy August 22, 2007 at 5:23 am

I love little epiphanies like that.

kirsten August 22, 2007 at 6:24 am

isn’t it hard when it hits you like that, though – all of a sudden? realizing your babies are growing up. bittersweet.

beki August 22, 2007 at 6:41 am

I’ve been trying to remind myself lately just how quickly it all goes by.

erin August 22, 2007 at 6:48 am

wake up call. i needed this.

jessica August 22, 2007 at 8:10 am

hey! we’re both in texas. what part are you in? i’m in arlington!

jamierives August 22, 2007 at 9:42 am

I love reading your blog! You have made me laugh, cry, and shake my head knowingly…all through the magic of a blog. I just found it a few days ago and have enjoyed reading it so much. So thank you!

tania August 22, 2007 at 12:11 pm

when my 4 were small i had a friend who used to have to go home early because my “house” gave her a headache!(lol) Now they are teenagers and it is verrryyy quiet. Hmmm,

Lisa Clarke August 22, 2007 at 12:57 pm

I can identify… I’ve got two boys myself. Two loud boys who climb things. Guess I never really thought ahead to when they’d be too tall to stand on the back of the couch, or when jumping off of the 4th step wouldn’t really feel like that big of a deal. I’ll have to try to remember that next time I can’t take the decibel level around here 🙂

Heather August 22, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I love, just LOVE the way you tell stories! You made me think about my little guy with what you wrote today. My first, I willed her to grow faster, and the second? I keep begging him to slow down. He turned one this weekend and he calls everything “ower” which is short for “flower.” Isn’t that the sweetest? But I keep treasuring the days that he’s not talking full sentences yet, not telling me how to do things, etc. Like the 4 yr.old, you know? I just want baby cause this is the last one… such a difficult thing, loving what we got and not wanting something else.

cloth.paper.string August 22, 2007 at 6:36 pm

fantastic! thank you thank you for the simple reminder to savor the present and be here now.
be well in the cacophony, sarah

kristin August 22, 2007 at 6:37 pm

right on.

Randi August 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Yes, you will miss it someday. This is a great reminder for me to enjoy my kids being kids!

dianeinjapan August 22, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Yeah, I know I will miss the noise, too. But I will never, ever, never miss screeching–thankfully my own children have never been screechers!

leslie August 25, 2007 at 8:15 am

once again thanks so much stef. everything you say is so true and i love the “match” your kids have with your friends kids. i dont have that with any of my friends, they either have just one kid or no kids! and WOW is that your backyard?? looks huge, here in cali our entire lot could fit in your backyard. booo!

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