Our urban neighborhood is noisy. The street is brick and there is a certain noise that comes from  tires rolling over the brick. The interstate is just a block away and that has a very distinct, mechanical sound. The neighbors, just a few of them, can be quite loud: dogs, all of whom bark when a stranger walks down the sidewalk, picnics and bonfires that feature Motown (I am so glad it it is Motown), fireworks around holidays, birds chirping at dawn. I am used to the noises from these regular occurring activities and routinely sleep through them all.

Every once in a while, though, there will be an unusual noise that wakes me up.

When my daughter was home, her room alarm routinely woke me, instantly and completely.

From outside, an occasional domestic dispute. A car alarm. Non-stop quacking. (I thought I was losing my mind – middle of the night and I am hearing quacks. A family of ducks had hatched in the back yard across the street and the neighborhood cat was too close for the comfort of mama duck.)

A gunshot…that was the scary one. My son was due to be home from work around the time I heard the shot. I ran downstairs and looked out the front door window; I saw him sitting in his car. When I turned the porch light on, he hopped out and ran into the house. I asked him if he heard the shot. He said, “Mom, I SAW the shot!” Frightening! Just frightening!

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