When I was younger and surrounded by all of my ducklings, their friends, cousins, and various neighborhood stragglers, I looked forward to midnight, when everyone had finally fallen asleep and the house would grow quiet. I would occasionally sneak out onto the front porch to take full advantage of the night's peaceful solitude. (Tyler once bought me a sign that said "Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a duck!")
Then they were all teenagers, and I would look forward to quiet - plain and simple.
Then they moved out, and the quiet was deafening. I roamed the house looking for something to do or someone to talk to. Yes, Mike was there, but he'd been there before, too, and being empty nesters was a completely different living experience.
The beauty of the human spirit is that we adapt, and what seems incomprehensible one day becomes ordinary the next. My evenings and weekends are often filled with noise of the next generation of ducklings in our family, but sometimes they are silent, too. Learning to love the silence was a growing experience, giving new meaning to "a time for every season under heaven."