S

ummer is loud. I don’t mean summer-in-the-city loud, either, with its sirens and car horns and happy party noise, spilling out of doors because the weather is so nice. Summer-in-your-house is its own kind of loud: the sound of people and their opinions, mostly, crashing into one another whilst moving among rooms.

Just today, there have been arguments about going to the store and not (we went once and passed on a return trip), who the kitchen timer really belongs to (me, @$#damn it), who has legitimate custody of the latest Big Nate book checked out from the library last week (Marcel) and whether or not one child was lying to another about throwing the fifth round of a board game just to shut the latter up (I mean, really, who wouldn’t have?).

The radio stays on until adult stages an intervention. Top 40 hits are in constant (loud) rotation beginning sometime in the 7 o’clock hour. Also, my children would prefer not to walk to find one another as it strains their delicate sensibilities. Instead, they scream for each other like stevedores upstairs and down, until someone graciously screams back in response.

Finally, Roy has begun to make some sort of dolphin-like noise when he’s yawning or talking or, who am I kidding here, any time he feels like it. I don’t know why he started doing it and I am currently hoping that if I stay very still and don’t draw any more attention than I am otherwise reflexively incapable of doing, he will stop. (Oh please, God, make him stop.)

So most of the loud in these tender first days of summer can be attributed to the work and play of my brood, their collective tuning, if you will, in preparation for the songs their souls will be singing well past the solstice. But there is summer’s ambient noise to contend with, as well: the howling dog that can be heard through a nighttime open window or the desert’s signature cooling system, the swamp cooler, rattling and squealing like the sound from a special effects sequence in one of the Terminator movies while I type.

I am not naïve enough to hope that the noise will lessen. It won’t. I have every hope that I will become accustomed to it, however, that this summer noise will become what I expect—the soundtrack for our lives in their new, warm-weather rhythms.