Friday, November 10

November's Thanksgiving: My Loud Family

I don't know how else to put it, except that we live largely in our home. We are not a quiet family.

I grew up as a quiet youngster in a active household. We were a loud family even though there were only four of us and both children were girls. There were always other people in and out of my home, and my mother, in particular, was not a quiet worker. I often awoke in the morning to the sounds of pots and cupboard doors banging in the kitchen, and my mom calling out with some little message for my dad who was working in another part of the house.

I didn't realize how loud my family was until I became old enough to begin staying overnight at other people's homes. I often found the stillness of my friends' homes a little oppressive. They probably thought of it as peace; I thought of it as gloominess. I remember, while visiting one friend whose family had four children at home, noticing how silently they all slipped around their house--no banging doors, no stomping feet, no laughter, no shouting, not even a television blaring; just nothingness, as if they were all ghosts.

Then I married someone louder than I was, and we had four kids who all took after him in that regard. When my oldest daughter was in high school, she had a friend Ben who used to live up the hill from us. Ben came from a large family (at least 6 kids), and once in a while his mother would send him to the convenience store down the hill from us for this or that, and he would phone my daughter to see if she felt like walking with him from our house to keep him company. Shortly after that, his older sister rented a room in the house next to us, and Ben mentioned to his sister that he had a friend who lived next door to her. "Oh," she said, "You mean the loud family."

I was embarrassed by that remark, but there really wasn't much we could do about it. By then, the habits were engrained, and it was mostly a personality thing, anyway. Also figuring into our loudness was that our home wasn't just the place we came to sleep at night. We lived and played and worked here. It wasn't as if we were blaring stereos or letting our dog bark all the time. We were just living our lives.

Sometimes it's all too much for me, and I have to go to my room to read or iron in order to restore my inner peacefulness. But today, I'm thankful for my loud family, because their loudness is not the loudness of anger, but of activity and enjoyment and love for each other

What are you thanking God for?
Why don't you tell us what you're thankful for in the comments to this post; or, better yet, post your thanksgiving on your own blog, and let me know of your post either by email or in the comments here. Then look for a link to your thankful post in the next day's roundup of thankfulness.

Have you posted a bit of thanksgiving, and I missed it (or forgot about it)? Please feel free to remind me.