The need for quiet

I have a houseful of people. This happens fairly frequently as various family events occur locally and my family needs a place to stay. I love that being in a central location means that I get to see most of my family frequently. The down side is that, being an introvert, I start feeling overwhelmed by the sheer quantities of people and noise. Then I go hide in my room for awhile. Fortunately most of my family are also introverts, so no one gets offended when I hide, they all understand. In fact, they do some hiding themselves on occasion. I just find it hard to feel like a good hostess when I am hiding from my guests.

In the chaos of today, I forgot to monitor Patch. Of all my kids, he is the one with the strongest need for silence and the lowest tolerance for chaos. He loves to have friends or cousins over. When they come, he will play very happily right up until he melts into a puddle of abject sadness over some small incident. This happens when his tolerance for noise and crowds are passed. Sometimes he can sense the need in himself and he will seek out a quiet place to play. Other times he’s having too much fun to stop himself before the tantrum arrives. This evening I recognized that he was in need of quiet. I took him to my room and the two of us had a quiet time together. We talked about needing to be away from people, about needing calm. I think Patch was relieved to know that both Mom and Dad have the same need. Even better, he was glad to know that if he ever needs an empty space, he can come to us and we’ll make one for him. He sighed with contentment and lay his head on my arm, hugging it tight. I hugged him tight too and we lay in the quiet for awhile.