I haven’t put my headphones in, not yet. It’s time for them, time to block out the world and sink into my own, the one I’m busy making up each night. The one I hope to share with the real world someday in the form of a novel.
But I’m still listening, I’m not quite ready.
I hear the television, just barely: voices arguing, things breaking sometimes, music, whatever. It’s not important, that’s not why I’m still listening.
I hear the thump thump thump of toddler feet as my son dashes across the hardwood floor, and I smile. I hear his mother laugh as he runs to her. I hear their inside jokes, their quiet little rituals and habits.
She reads him a book, and he squeaks because she’s turning the pages too slow. I hear his little feet as he climbs down from the couch, as he runs back across the floor. I wait to hear what caught his attention, what was so important.
The cling clang of his xylophone rings out, and I have my answer. I hear him drag his toy across the room, hear his tiny little grunts as he lifts it up to the couch. Slight temper fit because he can’t handle it on his own, but doesn’t want help.
I hear the issue get sorted out, and more music as he resumes his playing.
It doesn’t last long. He has become distracted by a book, and I hear as his mother reads to him about manners, for what must be the hundredth time. I listen, and chuckle at the irony as he becomes increasingly pushy, forcing her to turn pages; he does not say please, he does not say thank you. I hear him say all done when they reach the end of the book, and after a few short seconds, I hear as the story about manners is started once again.
I listen to them, to my world, and I feel full in a way I have never before understood. In a way I still don’t understand, really.
I sigh, because it’s time.
I plug my headphones in and sink into a world without baby giggles and stomping feet and nursery rhymes.