I was inspired to write this post by Gwynyth’s article on the “the words not spoken” for Sense of Story.

Silence is hard to come by when you have 5 children and live in 1100 square feet of space.  But with further thought, I realized that I do actively engage in moments of thoughtful silences…


I am silent in the middle of the night when my body and mind can’t settle. I curse in my head because I am up at 2:00am for no reason – no sick child, no more nursing, no nightmare to quash. I wander down the hallway, counting my sleeping babies: 1-2-3-4-5.  I offer up silent prayers: Please Lord, watch over them.  Angels guide them gently in their dreamland, a place where I can’t follow.

I am silent.

I am silent when my mother speaks.  I strain my ears to listen for clues.  Clues to the past, present, and future.  Clues that will explain the whys and the what will follow.  When I was younger, I would interject and disagree or dismiss and ignore.  Now I am afraid to speak because I will miss something.  I will miss a memory, a secret, a key: What are you trying to tell me?  What riddles can you solve for me?

I am silent.

I am silent when I console the weary, the upset, the hurt, and the angry.  During a fit of hysteria, one of my children once screamed at me, “Please stop talking to me Mom! You are making it worse!”  This was a lesson for me.  My arms wrapped around you speak the words you need: I am here.You don’t have to talk. It’s ok to FEEL.

I am silent.

I am silent with my husband as we sit side by side.  Sometimes we are silent in the car, lost in our own thoughts.  Sometimes we are silent as we watch the kids play.  Sometimes we are silent on the sofa, looking out the window.  Sometimes we are silent as he moves his plate next to mine and we sit at the dinner table after all the kids have been excused.  Our days are filled with these comfortable silences. We will catch each other’s glance and silently say: I know, right?

I am silent.

I am silent when my teenage daughter needs to make a decision where there is no clear right or wrong answer.  A decision she is capable of making on her own.  She talks and talks – exploring both sides.  I listen. But I don’t even speak when she asks for my advice.  I am silent because I don’t want my voice to drown hers even though sometimes I want to yell: Take that road!  It will be easier yet it’s a bit longer! That’s the one I would take! 

I am silent.

I am silent when all of my children are in a “groove” together.  There are moments of magic when they are playing and laughing in a world that only siblings can make.  I am an intruder.  I don’t interrupt with lessons or chores.  I silently walk the perimeter.  Always find each other. 

I am silent.

I am silent when I surrender and when I make a stand.  I surrender in silence to the rational when I am irrational.  I surrender in silence to the calm when I am frantic.  I make a stand with my silence when I have had enough of the bickering and the arguments.  I make a stand with my silence when I have been hurt deeply.  Can you hear my many voices in my silences?

I am silent.

I am silent when I am spent, when I have exhausted all that I can say.  There is nothing left to say.  There is no space for more words. A day of answering questions, asking questions, reminding, directing, teaching, telling stories, explaining, reading aloud, yelling, talking, talking, talking, leaves me silent.  I walk away before the wrong words find me and jump out of my mouth. I sit amidst the noise and focus on this word: patience. patience. patience.

I am silent.

I am silent when I am filled with emotions.  My silence contains them.  It is a vessel for my anxieties, fears, excitement, and happiness.  It holds my contradictions so they don’t spill out into the world: let go/hold on; push/pull; love/hate; close/open; hide/reveal.  There are just too many words that want to flow out of every orifice: It is too much.  It is not enough.  I’m ok. Just. I have nothing and everything. Time is moving too fast.  Time is dragging on.  I’m afraid that I won’t remember. I’m afraid that I will remember it all.  Do they know? Do they see right through me?  Do they know, can they ever know, the magnitude of my love?  The magnitude of my fear?  Hold my hand.  Move over. Just a bit.  A bit more. Too much. Come back.

I stay silent.


Writing along..when I get a chance…with writealm:









6 responses to “silent.”

  1. Princess Perez Avatar
    Princess Perez

    Love this. Reading this you have reminded me when I am silent. It is so easy to recall the times that I am not…thank you =)

    1. rozanne Avatar

      Thanks Princess! I actually woke up at 2am last night and that stolen silent moment of the wee hours actually gave me the thoughts for this post so I got up and wrote it…mind you, I was hurting the next morning 😉

  2. Jane Avatar

    So beautifully written…I enjoyed reading this immensely.

    Even in silent moments my head is always so full of stuff but at least in these moments I can here myself think; which is good : )

    1. rozanne Avatar

      Thank you, Jane…and even in the silence, my thoughts can seem loud sometimes 😉

  3. amanda Avatar

    first, i love that you have five children and live in 1100 sq feet. really and truly. we have five children and live in 1200 sq feet. it is a fun but tight squeeze 🙂

    love all the ways you named your silence, when it is truly silence, when it speaks LOUDLY if only they would listen. beautiful.

    1. rozanne Avatar

      Thanks Amanda…I find I am growing quieter as the years pass – listening to it all and wondering how I will ever get used to not hearing the loud, the crazy, and the pure chaos. Deep down I am afraid of the day that the silence I hear will not be one that I seek but one that is imposed on me by their absence.

      It IS fun and at times, 2 bathrooms isn’t quite enough, if you know what I mean, but I find they are always together on the same floor/same room. Occasionally, one needs alone time but never for long. They seem to be in close proximity to each other all the time – 5 feet radius or less!

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