From Liz Atwood: Silent Night. The beloved Christmas carol got me thinking recently that we just don’t have enough silence anymore. Kids -- at least my kids -- seem especially addicted to noise.

I walked into the family room recently to find the 16-year-old doing homework on his laptop while listening to music on his phone and watching a movie on the TV. The middle schooler usually plays games on his iPad while watching television. I'm constantly turning down the volume on the car radio and warning the kids they are going to hurt their ears if they listen to loud music through their earphones.

The kids turn on the kitchen TV whenever they sit down at the table to eat. We can’t pull out of the driveway without music from the radio or CD player.  Phones ring constantly; iPads buzz with friends on FaceTime; the Xbox echoes with the rat-tat-tat-tat of gunfire.

The other evening I went to the gym and left my cell phone at home. When I got back in the car, I heard an amazing thing -- nothing. I sat in the car a long while relishing the quiet. No noise and no one could call.

I wonder if my kids will ever appreciate the sound of silence.