“There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter and noise.”
-Brian Andreas from the StoryPeople
Somehow, through the vortex that is the internet, I came across the StoryPeople website. I immediately bookmarked it and go back often when I am in need of inspiration. Brian Andreas is an artist and a brilliant story teller. His ‘stories’ are one or two sentences but say everything you need to hear. One story may allow the imagination to soar, the next will be funny
I have seen him in Hawaiian shirts, she said, so there is nothing hidden between us.
and the next deeply profound. I am in awe of his ability to say so much in so little. I aspire for this. For I tend to ramble. Redundancy is boring.
The laughter and noise quote struck me on a couple of levels. One, as any parent can attest to, is the pure joy that arises from your child’s giggle or squeal of delight. Right now as I type, Kaya is downstairs in her rocket ship pajamas, standing on the arm of the sofa screaming “1, 2, 3, 4… 17, 18, 19, 20, BLAST OFF!!!!” then leaping onto her daddy giggling “I bonked your noggin!” Brennyn too thinks it is hilarious as I can hear her doing her baby moany, groany, chatty baby talk making sure everybody knows she is part of the fun too even if she has to be stuck in the stinkin bouncy chair. Those noises, those every day interactions, are joy. They fill me up with peace and calm and love. Nobody knows until they know.
Which is exactly what all those without children hate to hear. I know a few couples, my brother among them, who are on the fence about having a baby or have already decided not to. Because those of us with children ‘know’ that love, that joy, we can’t imagine anybody not experiencing it. But those of us who read, cannot imagine life without books either. Those of us who jump out of airplanes, can not imagine never having experienced that rush (says someone who has never experienced that rush). But people don’t do these things every day. And they are happy. They have joy.
So this quote struck me on a second level as well. We all imagine different ways that our life could be or could have gone. If we are happy on the path we have chosen, we can not, should not imagine life in any other way than it is right now. So while I can not fathom a life without my two girls, I can not judge either that childless couple laughing over a glass of wine on their African safari as they listen to the night symphony of a Tanzanian savannah. Or even the ones throwing a kegger party in their 40’s.
Whoever you are, if there is laughter and there is noise, in whatever form that comes in, then you are on the right path. Now if you’ll excuse me, my path is leading me downstairs to my giggling maniacs…