The house is quiet....or as quiet as it can be with all of our technologies. The clock in the living room ticks with a steady and predictable rhythm; a sound I have become so familiar with...a sound I have grown up with. The ceiling fan above me whirls quietly; so much preferred over the forced noise of central air. The television hums faintly, still tuned into HGTV where the hostess is planning the perfect garden tea party. Everyone else is asleep and I am alone with my thoughts for the first time today. My beautiful auburn-haired daughter - nearly 16 - bid be goodnight awhile back, bringing a smile to my face as she always does with her "kissy wissys mommy!" She is having trouble getting to sleep at night, telling me that she lies awake, her mind full of thoughts. She has lost her best friend, one who played the part of her boyfriend, and I know she has a difficult time ridding her mind of him at this most quiet time of the day. I hate to see it start so soon. Not just the relationships that bring heartache at such a tender age, but the restlessness of waiting for sleep to come. It seems that that is a woman thing: the busyness of the day keeping us going throughout the light hours, then when we lie down at the end of it all, the thoughts and fears and all of life's complexities invade our minds with their perpetualness when our body stops for sleep. My husband, in bed two hours ago is getting much needed rest after being up with work-related calls the past two nights, probably falling asleep wondering why his night-owl of a wife can't shut off at the same time. In the next room my 13-year-old son is breathing softly. I checked on him and watched as he lay perfectly and peacefully still; his brown, long-lashed eyes closed in deep slumber as his perpetual motion succumbs to the night.
And my mind continues as my thoughts take over: the hospital bills waiting to be paid, being out of work for the summer, yearbook camp for my daughter, the need to lose a few pounds, photographs to be developed from Sunday's confirmation, the upcoming holiday, the new baby kittens outside in the hot night time air, the shawl I'm knitting, my book on the end table, letters that need to be written, conversations had...and conversations wished to be.