It is quiet here, quiet! On a Sunday morning, when things are usually loud and busy, the girlies in the living room, climbing over one another in a complicated sister dance where they make it seem as if they are seamless with each other, intertwined in a complex ritualistic behavior that only siblings both close in age and personalities could understand, it is quiet, no girlies in the living room. No one but me in the living room, when normally Rick would be up and over at his computer; the boy, with his lack of volume control, wandering in and out as he moves from room to room, calling out in a loud, booming voice his thoughts on his sisters' behavior as he went; and the girlies, laughing and chatting and radiating their energy out in waves that ripple over us all, making us laugh and smile at their antics on days where no deadlines to getting out the door loom over us and groan and kvetch on school days. Quiet? How can this be on a Sunday morning?
Most my blog posts are written in this loud, raucous atmosphere, laughs and yells reverberating on the air, but not so this one. Everyone else is either asleep or hidden away in their rooms attending to their own obsessions while I get the living room to myself, all because one of us is not here this morning. Lillyput-she of the flair and the drama and the huge smile-is at a friend's house, and everything shifts when she is not here. Her periodic absences make it clear who one of the main hubs in the loudness and business is-tis her. Without her, the boy and the littlest garden girlie revert to their extreme introverted selves and the volume in this usually loud house cuts out. You can hear yourself think. What the heck? I've grown used to not hearing myself think; it's why I started talking aloud to myself. Do you know, it looks really odd talking aloud to yourself in an empty, quiet room?
How do I know, though, that it is Lil that is the cause of all the noise? Ah, because on Sunday afternoons when the bright boy goes to his friend, the loud diminishes but does not cease. That lovely, complicated sister dance continues and keeps the Rose out of her shell, interacting whether she wishes to or not. We see it play out, this sister dance, in the evening when we're out in the gazebo, the grown ups chatting, and the girlies alternately entertaining themselves on the swings and sitting with us, drawing, chatting, and telling stories. Last night, there was just Rosie and her occasional stories, but Rosie, alone, entertains herself quietly, draws inward and contemplative more often than not.
Off and on, on these sleepover days, Rosie will comment about Lil, talk about the things that she can do with Lil not here, but it's easy to see that she feels ambivalent about it; there's so much more she can do with Lil with her, and she, in her own way, counts down the time until her sister is home again. As do I. Pleased beyond belief that two of my three children on the spectrum have found themselves a good friend with whom they can visit outside of their school/center lives, I happily watch them go off for their visits, knowing that they are broadening their horizons and forming important bonds outside of their family. Ah, but just as happily, I watch them return, as I do not know what to do with quiet on a Sunday morning or any other time for that matter, and it helps to have their vibrant voices ringing out to mask my own when I talk aloud to myself.