Article written for

The keyboard under my fingers feels foreign, yet familiar. I’ve neglected this part of my life for far too long, the yearning to come back to center is great.

I’m ignoring my children, allowing them to feed themselves, though I check in from time to time. Often people ask how I have time for my extracurriculars and the last few months the answer has been, “I don’t.”

But I must. I need to. It’s who I am.

Little Man sings a song he made up just now while his sister reprimands him for being too loud. A sibling-imposed restriction.

The clang of dishes, the rattle of chairs. I can picture the scene, though I have removed myself from it.

Other children join in with Little Man’s made-up song, adding lyrics of their own. I love that they sing. Though I have neglected teaching any of them piano, they still have my love for music. My penchant for belting out a song at any moment. Something I learned from my mother.

A drawer opens, a utensil retrieved.

“Mom, can I have more chips?”

“Not until you eat your burrito!” I cry. Hoping they will actually adhere to my rule, though I don’t care enough to wander in and enforce it.

Water running, dishwasher opening.

“Mom, are there any more tortillas?”

A door opens and shuts. It is time for my husband and Miss E to arrive home for the night.

Rustling of papers. Clapping. Beating a rhythm on the table with a fork.

Mine is not a house with much quiet time. Noise abounds, big and small. The sounds of my home are familiar, welcome.


Sometimes uninvited.

Sometimes too much for any sane human being to handle.

More dishes moving around. Humming and singing. Admonitions to sit and be still from siblings and spouse.

I know they are rocking on their chairs. They always do. I hear chair legs bang against the floor and holler a warning to be careful, though I know they won’t. It is a warning that falls on deaf ears now.

I know they are nearing the end of dinner and as much as I don’t want to tear myself away from the computer, I know my presence will be required soon. Needed.

I hear my son’s voice, deeper every day, telling his father something of import. He bangs on the wall as he wanders back into the den.

“Dad, can I measure myself?” One of the littles requests.

I fear what that means. I must drag myself away.

Away from role of observer and into the role of Mom, forever present.