The Sounds of Silence

Loud silence. A contradiction of words that somehow seem to be the only accurate way to describe certain experiences of noiselessness. This week brought two of those experiences to me. Typically, silence is a concerning thing for a mom. The first full night of sleep for a baby has its mother up all night waiting for the crying. Two siblings suddenly quiet in their play has a mom worried about what mischief is coming next. Loud silence, though, isn’t as much worrisome as it is curious and occurs only after bouts of loud excitement. Luckily, my two bouts of loud excitement stemmed from happy experiences, or, in the case of our Nurture Her Nature family vacation, mostly happy experiences.

Yes, as Lesley referred to last week, the Nurture Her Nature family packed up in the car once more this year and trekked the four and a half hours to St. Louis, a two-turn road trip that was made more exciting by some unexpected and incorrect turns by the trusty driver. We did arrive eventually, and from the moment we spotted the epic Gateway Arch, our trip was anything but silent.

We made it to St. Louis! And we were just a bit excited. #stlouis #gatewayarch #vacationtime

A video posted by Nurture Her Nature (@nurturehernature) on

The choice to visit the great city of St. Louis stemmed from the memories of Lesley’s past wonderful vacation there and my ever-present need to be frugal. The city offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for families, and many of them are either free or extremely affordable. With so much to do, we jam-packed our day with multiple outings and nightly trips to the hotel pool. To capture the sounds of our trip, I recorded a few select direct quotes to illustrate our experience.

“Girls, let’s go. Let’s go, girls. Come on. Time to go. Time to go, girls. Let’s move. Let’s go, girls.” –Ali and Lesley, each day.

“Enough with the poop” –Ali, after several tellings of a particularly delightful knock-knock joke.

“I stepped on a lot of noodles last night.” –Story, after a night when the moms had given up.

“Girls, where is the other half of the couch?” –Ali, again, after a night when the moms had given up.

“I curse you, Maddie.” –Story, who knows the reason.

Surprisingly, we had a great time. The girls are still talking about the experience, and Maddie continues to ask where Lesley is each day. I even hear that Story is admitting to missing Riley and Maddie. Yes, despite it all, we all still like each other. Texting with Lesley the night we returned, she very appropriately labeled the feeling of our return.

“It’s that weird loud silence type thing you experience after a concert.”

Perfectly stated and timely as I was gearing up for another loud exciting experience with my mom that Wednesday night.

My mom has continued to plug away at her 60 before 60 bucket list, which includes going to a rock concert. In particular, a Disturbed concert. Mom has been a fan since we both started listening to their music while I was in high school. Going to a concert though and trying to blend in with their more typical fans was a bit intimidating. We managed, though, and surprisingly weren’t the straightest edged (or oldest) people there. The concert itself was amazing and brought for me a newfound appreciation for the band, and particularly the lead singer’s talent. His cool and powerful presence was nothing short of awe inspiring. As the last song wrapped up and we rode home with the memories we both experienced, another loud, and satisfied, silence.