So much talking
Not so long ago I saw this tweet and it genuinley made me laugh out loud. At myself. It said ' You ever get stuck talking to someone who won't shut up, and think about all the times you were alone and you took it for granted?'
It captures me and how so many people must feel when talking to me SO well; I talk. I'm a talker. Most times I like to think i'm being fairly witty and entertaining, but even in those instances I know that i'm probably talking a bit too much. I can't seem to help it, it's just how i was raised, to always have something to say.
There are also times when I lose my train of thought midway through the coversation - that's not fun for anyone, but it doesn't happen too often (although when it does I tell myself I can talk through it, i'll remember eventually and then I can circle back to the point i was originally making. This has an approximate and perhaps surprising success rate of about 50%*) and then my absolute favourite thing is when I meet someone who talks as much as I do.
That was, of course, until I had children.
Unwittingly I have passed on this genetic disposition to 'chattiness' along with an extensive vocabulary - well, no point talking a lot if you haven't got a decent array of words to use - to my own offspring.
They, too, can talk. As much if not more than I can. They also have a lot of words, and an opinion on just about everything, and boundless confidence that what they are saying is, of course, absolutely riveting. Which it can be, sometimes. I love hearing them chatter between themselves, and I love talking to them, they've produced some absolute comedy gold in the last couple of years. Even our father-in-law, a man who does not shower compliments wtih wild abandon, declared with pride that my youngest had, at the age of two, "mastered English now." The implication being he was ready for a second language. I suspect now he may have other ideas when he's being interviewed on every subject from his dinner to his shoelaces.
I have come to appreciate silence on a new level. I'd even go so far as to say I crave it. They say - and not without reason, let me tell you - that when you have a toddler silence is very, very worrying. This is more true than you know. Anticpate breakages, spillages and utter mayhem immediately following an extended period of silence when your toddler is not directly in front of you. However whatever it is they call the age after toddler-dom but before they're a sullen teenager will make you wish for silence harder than you wished for christams as a child, or to be able to sleep as a new mum. You will only realise just how desperate you were to hear nothing when the relentless noise of your own child - or children - talking, playing, fighting, yelling, singing or emulating the noise of a police car siren, has ceased.
I feel like I have come full circle; my husband used to (very cautiously) note that he could tell when I'd not had any adult conversation in the day because as soon as he walked in the door I'd be talking at him. Now he says he can tell when the kids have been a bit full-on becuase I communicate with him in a series of grunts and nods rather than words. Often he intuits when I need to be alone with my thoughts and dipatches me off to the pub for an hour. I suppose for a woman so dependent on the spoken word a disinclination to talk tells him everything he needs to know.
I am told that there is another side to this; the hollow silence that comes when they have flown the nest, and we mourn the days when they used to idly chatter to us about anything and everything, so I know i should spend more time listening to them say 'choclick' instead of chocolate, and ask 'what happens if...' or 'why?' over and over, and appreciate that for now, I am their Google, I am their source of information and the one they want to tell their news to. After all, it wasn't so long ago I was so desperate to hear them say 'Mummy' for the first time. It goes to show we are always either living for the future or lamenting the past.
Perhaps for the moment - and for the sake of all their future listenerns - I could teach them that not all thoughts need to be vocalised, and that sometimes, silence is golden.
Or that a career in talk radio could be lucrative....
*Obviously this statistic is entirely made up.