How can silence have a sound you ask? Well I have learned that after five years of continuous child noises including squeals, whining, laughter, crying and so on... that silence is actually quite deafening.
And so there I was... hand stopped mid air holding the last bite of bread... eyes quickly adjusting away from the glare of the ipad screen, darting to and fro looking for the culprit of the "noise"... and ears, slightly confused but enjoying the break. Before allowing my brain to run its normal data probe which would enlighten me on every type of crazy scenario behind the reason of the silence... I took a breath. And then I took another breath. Wow... this is nice. I slowly finished my last bite of bread. And smiled. I felt strangely calm.
OH MY WORD! WHAT ARE MY CHILDREN DOING!? THEY MUST BE UPSTAIRS DRAWING ON THE WALLS. OR MAYBE THEY ARE THROWING THINGS IN THE TOILET. MAYBE MIKAYLA HAS DECIDED TO PAINT NOLAN. MAYBE NOLAN IS PULLING ALL OF HIS CLOTHES OUT OF HIS DRAWERS. WHY DID I ALLOW MYSELF TO CHECK OUT FOR A MINUTE. THIS IS GOING TO COST ME TIME, PATIENCE, SANITY. WHAT IS GOING ON. AHHH I DONT EVEN WANT TO LOOK. maybe i should just pretend like nothing is happening and enjoy this moment. NO DON'T DO IT! YOU WILL REGRET IT! JUST GO UPSTAIRS. AHHHH AHHH AHHH AHHHH!
Up the stairs I went. Holding my breath. Praying for grace and love to show my children who were most likely doing something that "mommy would not like."
Following the silence I approached Mikayla's room with caution and found...
Yup pure devastation...
I slowly backed out of the room trying not to make a sound and alter the moment.
I sometimes (ok a lot of the time) struggle with a cognitive distortion known as catastrophizing. Or in layman's terms... predicting a negative outcome or jumping to the conclusion that if a negative outcome did occur it would be a catastrophe. This has been one of my tallest hurdles when it comes to my anxiety.
But look... my kids were silently reading. Not exactly a thing that happens all the time... but proof that I do not need to freak myself out for no reason. A REMINDER that it's ok to think the best of a situation... of a person... of myself.
So yup. On the positive I didn't immediately go to my freaking out which means I have made progress! Hooray! And next time I will try harder to not let the brain go into data probe mode at all.
What about the next time my kids do something "mommy would not like"? If it isn't dangerous maybe I can stop and smile at the fact that they are only kids once. And I can learn from that.