Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grateful for the Noise

Do you ever have a moment where you think, “I am so unbelievably blessed”? I had one of those moments the other night. It wasn’t even that something special had happened. Just ordinary life, but it occurred to me how wonderful it was. I was watching the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers with Luke, Jacob, Matt, and Cal. (It was streaming on my computer.) Simultaneously, Ariel and I were watching Leonid Kogan (a violin virtuoso)—he did an amazing job with Tchaikovsky, Paganini, and Bizet’s Carmen (the Waxman version, which I had never heard before).

I could ooh and ahh at a double play or a perfect slider at the same time as I marveled over Kogan’s pizzicato and with equal fervor. I suppose it’s because a thing of beauty is a marvel whether it’s athletic or musical or written. But the real joy is in sharing these things together.

I realized how unusual this was the other day when Ariel came home from her Public Speaking class (required of all math majors—hmmm, wonder why…) In the midst of lecturing on the importance of communication, her professor mentioned how great it was for families to eat dinner together and discuss things. Then she asked for a show of hands of the students who did that with their families while they were growing up. Only Ariel raised her hand. At that point, the prof backpedalled and said that it was okay if that wasn’t most students’ experience. But, it was sad to consider what life would be like if we spent our meals alone or watching TV. I can’t imagine not hearing about what weird thing Luke discovered in bio lab—“I found a skin cell being attacked by a bacteria,” or Ariel dramatizing the antics of her accounting professor, or Jacob and Matt giving blow by blows of the latest Lego war, or Calvin making puns, which I’m destined to hear repeated by Matt and Jake for the next two hours.

So the next time everyone’s talking at once and the noise level has gone beyond cacophony, I’ll smile and remember how thankful I am. Of course, after that I might yell, “One at a time!”


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. We don't repeat his puns, he does

    (Ihad an error on the other one)

  3. I think it is sad that a tradition that has likely been around since the beginning of time- the family gathering around to partake of a meal together- has so quickly been discarded in our culture.

    I can't imagine growing up without that time each day for my parents to share wisdom and discussion with my siblings and I!

  4. Yeah, we have great dinner conversations at our house. It's hard to imagine dinner if we didn't all eat it together.

  5. Onions have peelings!

    that is one of them,...

    Grace Duke

  6. Well, to quote Dash from The Incredibles, "I love our family." ;)