He is quiet. So quiet that it’s easy to forget he’s there. I did forget once, until I heard a squeak and thought What’s that? and remembered the baby.
I hear footsteps in the hall upstairs. The other one is supposed to be in quiet time, though with him there really is no such thing. He is not quiet. Never has been.
The silence of this new baby is unexpected.
We had just come home from the hospital. The baby was quiet. Sleeping. Sitting next to me at the kitchen table, Rich sent the signal across the room and the first notes danced from the speakers.
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
It’s been on his playlist for a while now but in that moment those notes got caught in my chest.
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
The day-two tears rose, pushing past the music and breath and lump in my throat. I didn’t allow them a release.
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
No words, no questions, no what ifs. Just a time remembered when things weren’t so silent.
This time is different. Of course it is. This is a different baby, something I’m reminded of every time I pull off his little hat to reveal the blond hair underneath. It has a reddish tinge. We don’t know who he looks like.
I am different. I have done this before.
Some of this new-baby stuff has come back to me like the flash of a time-travel machine, leaving me in a time and place that’s disconcertingly the same but not.
Some of this is new. Feeding one while entertaining another. Really tiny clothes. The soreness.
But mostly it’s the silence that’s different.
It won’t always be this way, I know. He won’t always be a textbook eat-poop-sleep baby. Day 13 today, but how long will it last? That question sits with me now, tapping at the window of my silent experience.
He is mine. He feels so very mine, even though I hardly know him at all.
I’m trying to just enjoy the silence.
Lyrics: The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.