What Are They Up to When They Are Quiet?

He's a reader now, but once upon a time he ripped a bunch of books.

He’s a reader now, but once upon a time he ripped a bunch of books.

I’ll never forget the time my son was about 18 months old and I had left him in his room while I was in the kitchen nearby doing something. After some time, I realized it was quiet. Too quiet. I went to check on him and discovered what he had been up to: taking all the tissues out of the box and making a big pile on the floor. I have more stories like that than I have fingers and toes added up. I’m sure if you have children or have been around them then you have a few stories yourself.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday morning I heard a commotion upstairs at 7:30. Based on the sounds, the kids were up and opening drawers, going in and out of their room. I was not worried. I knew I had about 30 minutes to an hour to roll over and get some more sleep before they would need breakfast. Often they wake up early and either read in bed or play. An hour  later I got out of bed. The house was very quiet, too quiet. I prepared myself to find a big mess as a result of creative play. Instead I found them sitting on the floor with clipboards, papers, pencils and colored pencils. They were working on their Young Author projects for school. We had let them play all day Saturday but reminded them that they would not be allowed to play on Sunday until they completed their work. Not only did they both finish before lunch, they did so independently.

It’s strange how you spend time trying to be on top of a problem before it arises based on past experiences. Then your kids grow up and start being responsible right under your nose. I think now I need to shift my thinking about what it might mean when the house is too quiet.