I laid beside him last night and we laughed, and tried to remember what it was like when it was only us. When we slept and ate and bathed in peace. In quiet. Uninterrupted.
We went to work in the mornings, and came home in the evenings. I cooked dinner while he played his guitar. He washed the dishes while I read aloud from a book to him. We were happy.
We longed for noise.
I can’t remember, before last night, the last time we were quiet together like that. Soft voices, hands intertwined.
The noise – sometimes it is deafening. He goes to work, and I stay home. I cook dinner while I drag a baby around the kitchen, attached to my leg. He washes dishes with a toddler beside him in a dining room chair. Sometimes we barely speak before 8pm, when we sit down, exhausted, and try to stay awake for an hour, to make the most of the quiet, numb sliver between their bedtime and ours. And I miss him some days, even though I see him all the time, because his guitar is getting dusty in the corner, and the only books I read aloud these days have brightly colored pages and stories of Gruffaloes and talking rabbits and tigers who come to tea.
The noise is a gift, and neither of us would trade it for anything – we always say so. And I don’t miss the quiet – not really. I just miss how easily I could hear him then.