The Sounds Of Silence


La casa de Puddin was exceptionally, unusually, almost disturbingly quiet today. Sadly, not because the kids finally signed a peace accord to bring the “He Touched Me/She Won’t Stop Bossing Me Around” hostilities to an end, or even because they finally learned to appreciate a few moments of peace and quiet.  I know it seems odd to complain about the silence, though. On normal days, I’d give a gold-plated pair of flying squirrel’s paws to be able to sit in the woods alone and research whether or not a tree makes noise when no one else is around if it meant a few minutes free of the seemingly constant struggle of sibling wills.

Alas, when you have four kids, occasionally—by which I mean frequent—personality conflicts are kind of inevitable. Having grown up with two brothers and a sister of my own, this isn’t exactly revolutionary news. But, uh, that’s another post.

What is important right now is that this morning, all four of our kids boarded a bus to one school or another and headed off for the first day of the new year.  Yes, even The Attitude climbed on with an enthusiastic grin, en route to Day One of kindergarten.

All the kids were off to school, and the house became still.

I’ve written plenty of posts before about first days of school, so it seems silly to rehash the matter again.  If you are feeling so inclined, though, maybe check out the archived posts in question. This one, from 2010, is probably my favorite. It’s certainly the one voted Most Likely To Make The Puddinette Ugly Cry. Don’t forget the posts from 2011 and 2012, either.  With a somewhat lighter touch, they’ll probably manage to entertain more than they pile on a several heaping dump trucks of the feels.

At any rate, my feed from various social media sources filled up faster than a rainfall gauge in Seattle this morning with picture after image after Instagram of well-groomed kids in fancy First Day clothes and shiny new kicks, all sporting backpacks and faces beaming with enthusiasm. And dammit, well, I didn’t see why they get to have all the fun.  I mean, sure, I’ve been going to the same job for something like 2000+ plus days, but that’s no reason not to get excited!


So I had the Puddinette take a Back to Work picture of me after all the kids left and were on their way to get some education. Admittedly, I did it mostly to distract her from the strange, foreign blanket of quiet covering the house, but I’ve done sillier things for more ridiculous reasons in my day.

Oh, and hey, remember when I mentioned that time seemed to lose all meaning over summer break? Yeah, well, it did it again. If I had to guess I’d say it was last week or maybe the week before that I wrote that post about Space and Time, and now we’re back to the meaty bits of the calendar that include homework assignments and reading projects.

Christmas will be here before you can say, “Oh Sweet Jeebus, Not That Damned Elf On The Shelf Just Shoot Me Now.”

But at least we’ll get some Halloween action first.