The Creative Home: It's Loud and Quiet

This post was originally published in 2013

My house is loud. It's so loud. All morning long. All evening before dinner. Come by my house at any point during the day, and you'll see what I mean. You might have to knock on the door several times, so we can hear you. 

At any moment during the day, I will have the dishwasher and washing machine going while my oldest tries to figure out the chorus to "Call Me Maybe" on the piano, my middle son provides sound effects for his Great Hot Wheels Living Room Speedway, and my youngest makes up new words to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" while twirling in the kitchen. 

We have instruments in our house. Lots of them. Already, I have enforced the "Only Play the Trumpet in your Room" Rule. However, my kids like to play trumpet all together (yes, we have enough trumpets in the family for everyone), so the bedroom door doesn't provide much of a buffer to 3 trumpets bellowing like dying cows. 

Other times we'll have drums banging or the bass cranked up for dancing music, wrestling, pretending, squeals of delight, barked commands, opinions, stories. Ask my family members. We're loud. Bless their hearts, they still try to call me during the day. 

And honestly, I love it. Yes, my children are rambunctious. They get carried away and yell too much. I sometimes/often shut it all down with a "CAN EVERYONE JUST GO OUTSIDE, PLEASE?"

Overall, I encourage loud when the loud encourages creativity. A creative home doesn't have wasted noise. Music is on to create moods, to stimulate learning, to enjoy. It's not background noise. The television only comes on when we are all watching something. It's a cherished time. Playing instruments, well, that's exploring and experimenting. Loud play is evidence of an active mind, and I'm cool with that. 

But every afternoon, for about an hour and a half to two hours, my house is quiet. We are all in our own spaces and doing our own things. 

My youngest still naps on most days, but on days where she doesn't, I usually hear her singing little songs to herself, "reading" books, or pretending with her Little People. My boys spend the time looking at books, drawing with crayons and paper, quietly playing with cars, or building with the Legos. 

Somedays they need reminders that Quiet Time is not a time to jump on your bed or destroy block towers or provide sound effects for the paper airplane you just folded. On swim days? Well, on swim days, they all take a nap. And I stretch in my luxurious quiet. I sometimes have to whack the little suckers back into place. Mostly, our afternoon quiet time is a time for everyone to get recharged and remember we all actually love each other after all.  

Creativity needs the right conditions to grow. The creative home needs loud, and it needs quiet.

Kelly Wiggains