Dear Malin Reese,
Tonight you yelled at us through your crib slats while you fought wave after wave of sleep. The yelling didn’t bubble up from sadness or anger, it was simply you finding your voice and using it in the shrillest way possible. It was oddly sweet for about five minutes and then became terribly annoying. I made a hasty exit from the room when you got on all fours, started thrusting your hips in a wicked dry-humping motion and yelled “Dadadadada!”. Yes, even your father gets uncomfortable from time to time.
Your yelling got me thinking about how much I recoil from loudness and the sake of making noise for the sake of making noise. There are so many examples of loudness living in the United States. Loud, oversized cars growling their way through traffic while their (usually) male owners try desperately to mask their small man syndrome. Loud television, especially loud political pundits that yell about Socialism, Welfare and especially about how angry they are that our President isn’t American enough. (In actuality, I think they’re angry that day after day he continues to be black). The multitude of people you’ll come across who love to hear themselves talk. You will quickly learn that their words don’t carry much weight. We live in a loud world and it’s going to be tough for you at times to cut through all of the noise and find what really matters to you.
What I really want for you is to be unafraid of silence. It doesn’t have to be synonymous with loneliness. At certain points in your life, you’ll find that it’s your greatest companion. So remember that it’s okay to turn the T.V off and pick up a book. It’s okay to find solace in the quiet of a birch forest in Sweden. It’s okay to speak sparingly so that when you do speak, people listen. Lastly, if you are going to be loud, let’s agree that from now on you’re not doing it while shrieking “Dadadada” and dry-humping the air. Thanks.