The other night I gave each of the boys a carrot stick to appease their growling tummies while we waited for Richard to come home for dinner. I was busy in the kitchen and before long I realized the house was quiet. Not just quiet, but silent. There is no alarm that rings louder or creates more panic for the mother of toddlers than a silent house.
I walked around from dark room to empty room with no luck and started to get nervous. Then I heard something, very subtle. The crunching sound of little teeth biting and chewing a carrot. I found them in the coat closet and relief washed over me.
Relief that they were safe, of course. But mostly relief that nothing was broken, colored on, destroyed or ruined.