We're building an addition on our house to make room for Surprise Baby Annie, and the first question everyone asks is "Does the noise bother you?"
I almost don't know how to answer that because it seems like such an unnecessary question. Of course it doesn't bother me; I chose to hire guys to nail boards together in magical patterns that somehow end up as floors and walls. The noise comes with the territory, so it seems silly to find it annoying. That's like wanting kids but getting irritated when they act like kids!
It's embarrassing how often I get annoyed by the noise my kids make. Like, constant irritation. Silence is my right. Compliance is their duty. Let's all agree to those terms and move on, m'kay? And yet I chose them and this noisy life. Their noise comes with the territory, too, and they're far more important than an extra living room. (Even though I can't wait to have another place to sit that isn't full of train tracks and shouting.)
Maybe you're like me and have chosen your own parental brand of selective hearing, irrationally expecting silence like someone might expect quiet hammering. It's impossible, but we still do it. We do it with a lot of things, don't we?
I want to be gracious with myself when I desperately crave quiet and not feel like a bad mother. Because I'm not, and neither are you. But I also want to be equally gracious with my kids when they need to be loud. Just like I expect the incessant buzz of power tools during a renovation, I should expect loud kids as my regular soundtrack and not resent them for it.
Today, just today, I'm going to try out a new kind of selective hearing. This one will hopefully smile more.