The Danger of Silence


Slice of Life hosted by Two Writing Teachers

I’m standing at the sink, washing the lunch dishes when my mind starts to wander.  It flits from one part of my life to another, with no discernible pattern.  I can’t believe I just spent $80 at Walmart; that’s a lot of money…Money…Back to work tomorrow; was nice to have a day off today…Work… Did I send that email to the administrators about the meetings?….Meetings…There was some awkward quiet at that last meeting…Quiet…. Quiet!!!  It’s TOO QUIET in here!  SH*T!  WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN??

Any mom knows this panic.  Something is terribly, terribly wrong.  They’re never this quiet.  As I turn on my heels, water still running in the sink, the worse-case-scenerios start to play in my mind… I can’t decide where to go first.  Bathroom.  Disgusting images of a poop-covered toddler flash in my mind.  A baby drinking toilet water.  But the bathroom is empty.  I spin around, darting towards the living room.  More images: Katie covered in marker.  Katie eating a book.  Maddie standing atop the couch poised to jump.  Nothing.  Living room is empty.  HOW LONG WAS I WASHING DISHES??  The house is eerily quiet. I have  flash of brilliance, which at the moment feels comparable to how Einstein must have felt when he figured out the law of gravity.  The playroom!

In I go, fighting the urge to cover my eyes and peek through my fingers.  I breathe a sigh of relief, and my heart rate immediately returns to normal.  The word that tumbles through my mind is “blessed”.  Two girls, safe, READING books.  I smile and slowly step backwards through the door, unseen.  They’re so sweet.  So good.

I return to the sink.  I shouldn’t have doubt……………………………….CLUNK! BANG! “Waaaaaaaa!!”, the baby wails.



14 thoughts on “The Danger of Silence

  1. Unexplained silence among children is eerie. Sometimes as a teacher, when i have achieved silence in the room, it’s like staying up past your bedtime–you’ve dreamed about it, wondered what it would be like, begged for it . . . when you finally are rewarded it, you’re not sure what to do. So you confer with the nearest student. Breaking it in, testing the waters.

  2. This made me smile and laugh. It is totally me. I love to let my mind wonder while I do dishes. The silence can be startling. Our imagination is much worse than what is happening- thankfully.

  3. What an awesome piece! The worst case scenarios made me laugh out loud. You might have to get use to silence though since it seems that you have life long readers in your mist.

  4. Dana, silence is frightening! I was panicked with you while you searched your house for your girls. Somehow I knew that they would sitting together behaving though. Evie’s quiet usually means jumping on a bed, putting on make up, or sneaking m&m’s. I love how you told this story though. I could hear your voice coming through on every line. Especially the last line ;).

  5. I love how you wrote your minds thoughts. That is exactly how I “think” too. I have been in that situation a few too many times but mine never ended so sweetly! Great surprise ending! Thanks for the inspiration for future writing—I will tell how mine ended!

  6. A perfect example of a slice of life, a moment of sheer panic, the relief. I’m glad you got back to the sink, I was worried about that running water. 🙂

    Hey Dana, be sure that when you leave your link you stay with the same sign in every day.

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