The dictionary defines Quiet as follows: making no noise or sound, especially no distrubing sound. Free or comparatively free, from noise. Silent. Restrained in speech, manner.

Almost every parents seeks it. At times we beg for it or demand it: “SHHHHHH”. “Be quiet”. “Can you be quiet for one minute?” “Hush.” “Let’s play the quiet game.” “QUIET!” “Shut up!” Any way you say it or have said it, you understand where I am coming from. When you have kids – you long for just a moment of Quiet. Just one single moment of silence so that you can collect your thoughts and get your head right. Just a moment.

I admit that my hearing is not great. I have a hard time dealing with background noise. This is especially true when someone is trying to talk to me. Not sure what the cause is, maybe it was the excessive level of the car radio in high school. Maybe it is from the noise at work. I am not real sure why but I have always had a hard time listening to someone talk while there is background noise. This extends to my thinking. I have never been good at concentrating with noise in the background.

Nathan was that “noise.” It was a constant with him. He was always busy doing something. That something always required noise. If it weren’t the random noise of him getting into something, it was the sound of his voice.

Drew has always been relatively quiet. He is a thinker. He is a rule follower who does everything with precise intention. Never one to break a rule, cause to much commotion or rock the boat. Definitely not one to create much noise.

It was totally opposite for Nathan. Since Nate was born our house has always been buzzing with noise. He was a well behaved kid but always one to test the limits and see if the rules really applied to him or if there really were consequences to breaking the rules. I think at times he would break the rules just to see what the consequences were.

I remember Katie and I sitting in the room and hearing a noise from the kitchen pantry. We could both tell that someone was digging in the pantry and so we called out “Nathan – what are you doing?” Nathan replied “Nothing.” The rustling continued and we again inquired about what he was doing. He advised that he was getting some goldfish. A few moments later we could hear him digging through the pantry again and we again asked what he was up to. He advised that he was just getting some goldfish. When he walked into the family room we immediately noticed the chocolate smeared on his face. We questioned him about this and he was adament that he had not had any chocolate. We questioned him more and he got defensive and denied eating any Hershey kisses. When we confronted him with the evidence still smeared on his face – he got somewhat angry. It was that “noise” that gave him away. He was never good at admitting that he had been caught.

Lately our house is awkwardly quiet and it is not something that we are used to or comfortable with. Kaylee is much like Nathan and provides some noise to relieve that silence that is so evident within the house. It is just not the same.

I realize that Nate’s “noise” broke those moments that were filled with silence. It was that “noise” that broke the monotony and made life so exciting. The rustling of Nathan getting into something that he shouldn’t or the arguing between him and Drew. It was the noise that I did not appreciate at the time but have come to miss greatly.

I find myself looking for things to break the silence. Some reason not to be still or silent and think about the events that have occurred over the last few weeks. I long for that “noise” that made every day at my house “crazy town.” Kaylee will help with this in the days to come. Anyone that has been around Kaylee knows that she will keep Katie and I busy as she grows. She is a nut and I wouldn’t want it any other way. She reminds me a great deal of Nathan.

The next time that you seek that moment of silence – take a minute and listen to that “noise.” Think about how great that “noise” really is. Think about how stir crazy you would be without that “noise” in your life. Think about what that “noise” really represents. It is a “noise” full of life and joy. A “noise” that makes each day challenging and different. It is a “noise” that makes your life what it is. That “noise” is what life is all about. No life has ever been exciting without that “noise”. Take a moment and enjoy that “noise.” Do not supress it or silence it – cherish it! It is the “noise” of your life.

Go Out. Be Great.



13 thoughts on “Quiet

  1. Mom Baker

    Justin these stories really make me cry but I love everyone of them. I don’t know how you can write them but i am so glad you are able to do this. We all miss our precious little angel,each and everyone of the grandkids are my special angels and when one is taken it has left a hole in my heart that hurts so bad.I can’t even imagine what you and Katie are going through and I am so very sorry.Katie I know said she doesnt want anyone mad at God but I am sorry I cant help it.Each of you kids are so special to me and I don’t want you to hurt ever without being able to make it better but this is the one thing I cant do the only one that could have done it is God and he didn’t intercede so I am very mad. I remember the noise with you four kids but you were my Nathan.When i took you outside one day Nonie the neighbor said to me Lois I know you just washed that boy but look at his face it hadn’t even been 5 min.Nathan not only looked like you at that age but acted just like you. He was a fun hard working,could talk his way out of anything precious fun loving little boy anybody that met is going to greatly miss.Love you all Mom

  2. Vickie Hanks

    Thank You so much Justin for sharing your heart in these writings, you are really such a good writer! I’m sure that lack of “Nate Noise” and too much quiet only reinforces that tremendous void!! Our hearts grieve so much for all of you:(
    Although nothing will replace this void, praying the God of all mercy & grace will fill that somehow, someway.One Day. Keep hanging on, keep trusting, keep believing. Yes, when you look at Kaylee, you definately see Nate:)
    You probably don’t want prayers for Kaylee to ” turn it up a notch” though?!!
    Keeping you all in our thoughts & prayers, Vickie

  3. Stefani Comer

    You have a gift for writing! Continue to do so ~ it’s certainly therapeutic. And as you do that, you share your other gift (Nathan) with all of us! Thank you!

  4. Jacqueline Komar

    I know that I will use this advice often. From birth we have always said that Larkin is just like Nathan. Even though they are boy and girl, their personalities and curosity for pushing the limits has always been the same. I think of the times we were together and how many times we said STOP running, STOP yelling, STOP fighting… Please just STOP!!! I now wish for all of those times back. I will always remember this when the kids are being too loud or arguing. Miss and love you guys! Thinking of you all the time…

  5. Barbara Hanks Norquest.

    I enjoy reading your post so much,
    You are truly a wonderful writer.
    Although Nathan’s grandmother, Connie & I are first cousins, I never had the pleasure of meetin you and your family.
    However through your writings I feel as if I do know the family.
    Nathan has touched my heart like no other child.
    What a joy he must have been and there must be a thousand memories for you to hold on to.
    I can clearly see, this little Guy touched more lives in his few years than most would touch in a

  6. Brandie Hanks

    Justin, you really have such talent and a gift for writing, for expressing and conveying such raw emotions. Emotions that stir the hearts of everyone who reads these, which is a good thing, b/c like you said it put things into a new perspective. What an amazing post this way, I cried the whole way through. I cannot even begin to imagine what you and Katie are enduring, and my heart aches and breaks for you. I hope that you find some healing through your writing. It can be very therapeutic. My heart is so heavy for you all, and I continually pray that the Lord draws near to you and fills you with a sense of peace and anticipation of seeing little Nate again in Heaven. He is smiling down on you 🙂 Much love to you all.

  7. Kim

    I don’t know you or your family, but you have all touched my heart in a way that has changed the way I view my children. I first saw Nathan’s picture from a posting by a mutual friend on Facebook. There are always tragedies and stories posted, but none has moved me like the day I saw your son’s picture. His smile and the light in his eyes reflected all of the personality that you spoke of in this post.

    My heart breaks for you all. I know that nothing I can say will take away an ounce of your pain. Since that day, I have changed the way I respond to my own boys’ antics. It is part of who they are and with them comes noise. You are still very often in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Alison Pettit

    This post made me stop and think so much (plus cry my eyes out) and thank you so much for writing. I have 3 small children and completely understand the “noise” that you talk about. Sometimes, you just want to bang your head against the wall and other times, you can get through it. But you are so right – all of those noisy moments should be counted as blessings and I think that we need to remember that each day and be thankful for the noise. Your posts are so eloquently written that you should consider writing a book for parents! I think we all need a reminder of how precious our children are and to appreciate the noise!

  9. stacy

    Love this post. Addisyn is very similar to Drew, but with a lot of words. I know this next one coming is going to be different. I can feel the party in my belly all day. I want to cherish the noise and I crave it now. Thanks so much for this reminder. Love you guys!

  10. Trish Overstreet

    Justin and Katie,

    Words cannot express nor can I say how sorry Hannahbugs and I are for what has happened to your family and for what your family is currently going through. I have often wondered why god allows these things to happen, life is so unfair at times and sometimes it seems at times like these every inch of a persons being can hurt because of the hurt and the pain that the emptiness has
    caused. I know how you both are feeling having to watch my own mother deal with the loss of my older
    brother when I was 15. I can only tell you how sorry I am, but no amount of condolences that I send will take away the heaviness that you feel in your heart, all I can say is that in time the hurt gets easier day by day, the pain never goes away, but day by day it does get easier. Take care and be great, Trish and Hannahbugs

    caused. I know these feelings


  11. Pingback: Go Out. Be Great. « The Alternative Shift

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