Silence in the Man Cave

Silence in the Man Cave

I’ve been thinking a lot about the human voice as I’ve contracted a bug that’s left me — and I assure you this rarely happens — SPEECHLESS.

Actually I do have a LITTLE voice left, but I sound kind of like Yoda from inside a vacuum cleaner bag. That explains why the desk assistants at the CBS Network, where I’m employed, took a while to understand I was calling in sick: “Me … ILL … no work I can do. Voice broken, it is….”

It’s also a reminder that though I make a living talking to people, there is more than one way to convey a message or tell a story.

This is why my sons once told me, “Dad’s going to the drug store because you MADE him.”

Me: <perplexed>, “Made him–?”

Sons: “You were batting your eyes at him.”

Wow! Who knew I had so much power.

This power apparently extends beyond the Man Cave. When my youngest was playing basketball in grade school, one of the player’s dad stepped in to help coach. This particular dad was deaf and used sign language to communicate. Dad made a call. His son started signing with an attitude that made me say out loud, “Joseph, don’t TALK BACK to your dad!” The kid whipped around with a surprised look on his face that said “what DEAMONIC power does this mom have?!” Yes, Joseph. I know that tone in ANY language — even American Sign Language.

As for that supernatural power, you should know that all parents have it.

We hear a *thunk* in the other room and count how long the “air suck” is. Anything under 3 seconds is probably OK. Anything over six seconds, before the bawling begins, requires an immediate, “Oh baby, it’s OK. C’mon here!” Followed by a wad of tissue for little eyes, and a bag of ice for the head bump.

We hear you chattering and playing loudly in the other room, but when it gets QUIET we storm in because we know THAT’S when:

  • The toddler-you decided to scoop water out of the toilet
  • The grade-school-you was painting acrylic highlights onto the dog’s hair
  • And the teenaged-you with your significant other are … let’s just say we haven’t been there yet, but WE ARE READY!

Because communication and love and understanding goes beyond what we speak out loud. It’s the pat on the back, the hug, the kiss on the forehead, which lets you know you’re OK. And whether I can talk or not, Momma-Man Cave is always here for you.

This has been an actual (slightly quieter) conversation in the Man Cave. What’s the Man Cave? Read this.

NOTE: How can you stay healthy in a newsroom and world full of germs? Check out my LinkedIn post “Journalism: Pro Tip #7 Germ Defense.”Bosch-biocbs2

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