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"Magic Silence" and our Future

Man, yesterday was a tough day (see my post if you haven't already). The only thing I wanted to do last night was take a nice long hot shower, then eat cartons of chocolate ice cream, watch some mindless television and cuddle up with Matt.

Well, I got a call from Matt letting me know that his neighbors across the street asked he if would be willing to babysit their two twins. These little guys (a boy and a girl) are 5-years-old and Matt always melts when he gets the chance to babysit them. He said their parents said it would be cool if I came over also.

To be honest, it was the absolute last thing I wanted to do... all except the part of spending time with Matty. I explained that I had a splitting headache and just wanted to chill for a while. So, what does Matt do? He turns on this totally adorable, sweet, pleading voice and somehow I start chilling within the span of like two minutes. I still haven't figured out how he does that. My headache starts going away and suddenly I'm grinning. Then I hear him saying, "I love how you're smiling right now." I chuckled and said, "When should I show up?"

It's always amazing watching Matt when he's around kids. Some of you may remember how he was with that little boy in the restaurant when we were on our way to Maine. Kids love him I think because he has this way to somehow go into their little world without condescending to them. They seem totally fascinated with him -- the way he can establish instant rapport, speak their language and somehow understand how they think and feel.

There was one point in the evening when they were arguing about what game to play next. You would thing the future of the world was at stake and both were digging in to insist that the game they were proposing was all they would consider. In the span of about three minutes, these two cute, adorable angels started turning into two battling enemies. The volume of their voices was turned on "high" and then the arguments started turning into accusations and it was all headed downhill from there. My headache was starting to return and I was expecting Matt to probably make a decision to play a completely different game or get them distracted somehow. I just looked at him while pressing my fingertips to my temples on my head.

So what does Matt do? He gets down on the floor with them and says, "Magic Silence!" While he's doing this, his hands go up and he's making the "Time Out" sign. Both kids stop screaming at each other and are looking directly at Matt, probably wondering what's going to happen next (I know I was). The amazing thing about all this was how Matt was not screaming or looking angry or frustrated or irritated. It looked like he was going into this role of Magician or something. Whatever those kids saw fascinated them -- and me too!

He puts on this theatrical voice like he's on stage or something and announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. After two minutes of magical silence, we will decide which game to play. If anyone speaks during Magical Silence, then it's bedtime for all!" He then points to a wall clock we can see in the kitchen and starts a countdown for the two minutes to begin. Both kids (and me) turn our heads to the clock and watch the second hand sweep across. There is total silence.

At the end of two minutes, Matt announces, "Magical Silence is now over. We have to have a solution or bedtime begins. So, what will it be?" The kids just look at each other and then look around the room, then look back at each other. One of them says to the other, "Let's play Rock, Paper, Scissors!" They both agree and get really excited, almost like, "Why didn't we think of this before?" So off they were in this new game in total agreement and excitement.

Matt came over to the sofa and sat with me while they were showing off in front of us. I was dumbfounded. What had just happened? How did he do that? I just looked at him and raised my eyebrows waiting for him to tell me what just happened. I think he was waiting for this all evening, though he denied it. He just said, "Well, it's like us, right? I mean we're not arguing about a game, but we can't decide about what we're gonna do next. We both want to go to college. We both want to stay together. We have no idea what the solution is yet. Maybe we just need some of our own magical silence."

"So, how do we get some of this magical silence?" I asked. He suggested we go to our special private spot this weekend, where we've gone before when we needed to talk through some problem. I said we had to make a decision pretty quick since Fall term was starting soon. All he said was, "Well, that's what Magical Silence is all about. Sometimes the quickest way to get somewhere is to slow down. It's kind of a paradox, but it usually works. We're trying so hard and all we're doing is stressing ourselves out, which just slows things down. Maybe if we slow things down, we'll get where we need to get sooner."

So, we have a date for this Saturday to go to our Special Place for some "Magical Silence." I'm in charge of packing the picnic lunch and Matt's bringing the soda and snacks. He's going to teach me this yoga meditation thing he does and we're going to slow things down and let some of this Magical Silence do its thing.

Will it work? Will we come out of this knowing what we're going to do? I'm not sure, but I know we're not getting anywhere with all the stress we're putting on ourselves now. Maybe a little magic is what's been missing. I'm actually looking forward to it.
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