My house gets noisier in increments.
During the day, between nursing and naps, Bean and I generally have delightful, quiet conversations. I tell her about the world, she coos in agreement, and our soft words stay within a twelve-inch radius encircling mother and child. I love our time together, just Bean and me, where she is the uncontested center of my universe, at least for a little while.
At two o’clock, we make the trek to pick Bug up from summer camp, and the entire thirty-minute drive home is a stream-of-consciousness play-by-play of his day’s goings-on. (That was a lot of dashes in one sentence. It might even be a record.) Once home, Bean’s and my subdued environment is transformed into a Nerf arena/dojo/basketball court/Planet Naboo all rolled into one cosmic collision of uncanny sound effects and general boy-noise.
Around dinner time, Hubs comes home, and the noise subsides as long as it takes for food to be shoveled into mouths, and then, impossibly, triplicates as Bug joins forces with or against his partner-in-crime, my husband: breadwinner, portfolio manager, financial leader (in some circles), honing in on age thirty, and, for tonight, Count Dooku.
Each evening, Bean and I find ourselves innocent (quieter) bystanders, caught in the crossfire of Nerf dart warfare or light saber duels, waiting for our champion to triumph. At least until bedtime, that is.
And tonight, as things grew quiet with Bug retreating to bed (still singing quite loudly some song he knows, but slowly losing gusto), Bean growing drowsy with her tiny hand jammed into her tiny mouth, and Hubs winding down on the couch just inches away, I was suddenly aware of the uncontainable largeness in my chest.
There are moments, somewhere past the noise, when I realize that the small organ tucked against my breastbone beating blood through my body is severely insufficient. That my heart is perfectly incapable of holding the enormity of emotion that crashes like a tidal wave without warning. By some inconceivable design, my heart and tissue and brain and bone are completely unaffected by the very real and present weight and heat and light of love and pride and fullness that crush my mind and soul. Despite the goodness of it, I am rendered helpless, unable to cry, or smile, or even move. I am almost afraid to breathe against the thickness in my chest, afraid that I am nothing more than ash, completely consumed by the magic of it all, the magic of being undeniably in love with three perfect people, the magic of sharing this life with them, of being chosen and fashioned to intimately belong to them, of being loved by them.
In these moments, rare and fleeting, when the noise of the world and the chores of the mundane settle like dust undisturbed, everything, everything, is right. Every soul is satisfied. Every heart is content. Every one is complete.
I am complete.