The Sound of Silence: Can Parents Ever Really Experience This?

by Samantha on October 12, 2011

“Hello darkness, my old friend…”
Such are the opening words of a classic song by Simon and Garfunkel.
“The Sound of Silence,” - this phrase alone is evocative of the mystery and beauty that is found in the far reaches of night.
There is a beauty in silence. This is particularly the case when you have many children of a young age. I, like many parents, deal with the constant din of childhood, whether it be via voice or vehicle - the latter a toy version, of course.
Being a mom, it becomes a rare occasion where silence is experienced in its entirety, and because of this, it is all the more savoured when it occurs.
Like the beauty of a double rainbow, a brilliant sunset or a meteor shower, pure silence is infrequent, evasive and fleeting when it does actually present itself, providing all the more incentive for those experiencing it to cherish those precious moments.  
Double rainbow
Image courtesy of
In my own experience, even the dead of night does not deliver the silence so desperately craved. There are children to be soothed, monsters to be banished and trips to the bathroom that invariably break the peacefulness of this otherwise quiet time. In an ideal scenario where, perhaps, there are no dead-of-night wake-ups, is it ever really silent, in the true sense of the word? Do any of us really know what true silence sounds like? Because we have become a society that has become numbed to the continual “white noise” that is the background to our lives day and night, many of us haven’t really known the beauty of quiet.
The sad reality is that in the 24-hour world in which we now live, rarely do any of us ever experience true silence. The availability of all-night TV, online access that never ceases and constant connectivity via cell phones and otherwise  has further distanced all of us from the possibility of peace. This can’t be good.
Sunset on the water
Image courtesy of
For those regular occasions where we are awoken by our children in the wee hours of the night, perhaps we should look at the opportunity to cherish those intimate moments as well as stealing a few precious minutes of true peace and quiet (I, for one, should take my own advice). Because like everything else in life, anything worth having, is well worth waiting for - even if it’s delivered at 4:00am.
How often do you really experience true silence? When it does occur, do you enjoy it or turn on the TV/radio/ipod?
Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
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