White Noise


Anabelle and I were in the US to visit Mihaela, our fourth grandchild. She is so adorable. And what a fortunate baby she is. We were impressed at how hands-on as parents Mickey and Iulia are. I do not remember being as engaged as they are when Anabelle and I were young parents ourselves like they are today.

Among the many things they do, and there are a whole lot of them, for Ela that impressed me is playing background white noise when she is sleeping to help make her sleep more soothing and restful. There is good science behind white noise as a sleep aid.

I remember our own time as young parents with our three baby boys. The only white noise I played for them was the music I loved at a low, subliminal volume: the Beatles, the Sandpipers, light classics, etc. Or, my snoring. Which was either soothing or grating depending on how tired I was that day.

But this white noise thing and sleep got me going back to my own youth. I realized that there were also “white noises” then that lulled me into sleep. And these “white noises” changed according to the seasons. I liked the rainy season the best. The pitter-patter of the rain on the roof was such a soothing sound, sending me to dreamland in no time at all. The pouring rain is the random drops hitting the ground all at different time and different places. Yet, in that randomness, a certain rhythm and faint tune emerges that is simply soporific. It is also during the rainy season that there would be a concert from the frogs in the fields. Even that cacophony somehow lulls me to sleep. I love the gales and the gusts of typhoons. They are like tight embraces that carry me to slumber.

In the cooler months, there is the gentle breeze of the cool northeasterly amihan. It is gentle, soothing, and brings along the memory and ambience that is uniquely Christmas. In the summer, there is the noise and sound of cicadas, crickets and other insects along with the scent of flowers in bloom and trees growing their fruits. I did have white noises lulling me to sleep then.

As it was in the beginning? Is now? And ever shall be? Young people will always be falling in love. They will always eventually decide to spend their lived together. They will have children of their own. And yet, not one couple is ever the repeat of another. I can feel the joy and excitement of Iulia and Mickey over the arrival of Mihaela. I have been there. I have done that. But I cannot try to tell them how to take care of her. Their story is different from mine. And the white noise that lulls Mihaela to sleep? The universe is singing to her a different melody from the one that it used to sing to me.

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