My parents left our house on Saturday after a lovely and loud family dinner. They laughed on their way out and said they were going home to greet the Quiet.
I stood on the front porch, frozen for a moment with sudden longing, watching them walk away.
Because Quiet? I remember Quiet.
And I think I understand now why he left. I understand why he thought Chaos was my favorite. I understand that I showered Chaos with attention and that Quiet was hurt by my neglect.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t notice the day Quiet packed his bags and left. I have plenty of excuses but I’m not sure they matter anymore.
I mean, sure, Chaos is gregarious and engaging, entertaining and enthusiastic, and he’s not inclined to judge my little people for so thoroughly rejecting modesty; Chaos is funny and he’s always doing something crazy that’ll make a good story later. Whereas Quiet? Not so much.
But it pains me now to think I never told Quiet while I had the chance that I value him just as much. His strength and silence. His poise. His calm. The unlikelihood he’d ever remove his soiled Superman underwear and twirl it above his head like a lasso before flinging it at my face and running away in delirious, naked joy.
So I stood on the porch on Saturday, and I wondered if it’s too late for Quiet and me. Have I done too much damage? Have I hurt our relationship irreparably?
Chaos came outside to stand beside me, wiggling his grimy hand into mine, and he winked at me and nodded. He knew what I was thinking, and he wanted me to know it’s OK; he’s not threatened by my love of Quiet. Chaos is sure of my devotion no matter how much I long for the wandering one. So I took a wild chance, and I called out to my parents to deliver a message.
I told my parents to tell Quiet hello.
I told them to tell Quiet that I miss him.
I told them to tell Quiet that I still love him, that I’ve never forgotten him, that I think about him all the time.
I told them to tell Quiet that there’s room for him and Chaos both. That I love them equally. That I’m sorry I didn’t show it. That I’d like to try again.
I asked them to let Quiet know he’s welcome anytime, and that I understand he’ll need some time to think about it. Maybe years and years.
It’s OK; I can wait for you, Quiet.
As long as it takes.
Does Quiet still live with you? If not, and if it’s not too personal, why not?
Have you ever welcomed Quiet back home? How did Chaos feel about that?
Have you found ways to live in harmony together? Without appearances of favoritism?
I just, you know, want to know it’s really possible.