This is the continuation of ‘The Thirteen Days of Arthur,’ a series of writings by Melissa Mouzin-Bennett, mom to Arthur Hancock…
I feel like I am somewhat gifted with a broad vocabulary and I tend to talk a lot sometimes. I also used to become very uncomfortable with silence and would need music or other people to keep me company. Ever since my experience with Arthur, I have become much more comfortable during quiet times.
When I was pregnant with Arthur, Roy and I would sit quietly before bed and enjoy playing with Arthur through my abdominal wall. It was an amazing bonding experience for the three of us and I began associating silence with love and security. When my physician first suspected there to be a problem with Arthur’s development, he was very silent before choosing the words we dreaded hearing. After we were referred to a specialist, we had a high-tech ultrasound done. The ultrasound tech was so silent when she was scanning my womb and collecting data that it was chilling. The most terrifying block of silence I ever encountered was immediately after Arthur’s birth. I had read a story written by the mother of a stillborn baby who said the hardest part of her delivery was not hearing a baby cry. When Arthur entered the world, he did so in silence. After having been told that he would be stillborn, I was sure my little guy hadn’t survived. Two minutes later, the medical team announced a perfect APGAR score. Arthur wasn’t in any distress, he simply had nothing to say.
One of the counseling techniques I was taught for work is the power of silence. If you can’t get someone to talk to you, just sit back and wait for it. Usually after about a minute of silence people will open up. Arthur taught me the power of silence too. It’s so much easier to hear what your heart has to say without all that noise.