It is an ordinary evening, much like any other. One that may be forgotten as “just another day” not long from now. We have finished dinner, and the kids are watching a show before bedtime. I complete the pre-bedtime kitchen clean, wash the dishes, and cross items off of my mental to-do list, one-by-one. Once I complete these tasks, I sit down on the couch with my back propped up and my legs stretched down the length of our sectional. Linden is peacefully (but intently) watching the show next to me while Maelle is bouncing from chair to chair. She notices that I have come to join them and immediately makes a bee-line for where I am seated. She snuggles into me and adjusts her little body to match the curves of my own. I shift my weight onto the side and ease her into the crook of my arm so we are snuggled together watching the show. I can’t help but pause at this moment and take note of how simple this action was. No words were exchanged, but I instinctively made the space she needed.
I remember the day that we decided to move homes. There were a plethora of reasons for moving and, of course, we were financially capable of making the leap; the most important reason, however, was always the kids. We wanted to make space for our children. Space for them to grow and thrive. Space for them to find comfort and belonging. Space for them to learn about friendship and family while making memories to cherish for a lifetime. And, with these hopes and dreams, we put our old house on the market ready for the change required to make the space we longed for. We left our old house behind taking with us only the pieces we needed and the memories we treasure. As we closed that old, familiar, door for the last time, we also closed the chapter on that season of our life. And with that closed door came an opening to so much more.
Even when it comes to our plans and scheduling, we are constantly stretching our time and availability to make space and ensure that everything works as expected. What was once a nearly empty calendar, sparsely dotted with must-do errands and fun personal activities, has become an overcrowded eye-sore with colour coordinating tasks that showcase our daily hustle. We are constantly pushing for space, stretching what little time we have, to prioritize our individual needs and wants. “Daniel, I want to go to the PAC meeting at Maelle’s school on Thursday - are you able to be home just before six so I can drop the kids off and run to the meeting?” “Can I give you an answer if I can make it home on time that day?” “No, I need to know in advance because if it’s possible that means I have to pull Maelle out of gymnastics 20-minutes early to make it back on time.” “Okay, I will be home when you need but that means I have to be at work extra early.” We divide and conquer, making the space in our schedules to accommodate our family’s ever-changing needs. Doing all of this without a second thought because making space is an inevitable exercise that arises with parenthood.
It comes as no surprise to me that early in pregnancy even our organs, hearts included, literally move to make space for our babies as our body stretches to its limit to create the space needed for our growing children. From the very day we conceive, motherhood dictates that we find the space needed to harbour new life - both physically and emotionally. And, ever since that fateful beginning, we continue to make space. Space for our children to grow and develop, space for their shoes, space for their new toys, space to gain independence, space in the car, space in the bed, space for appointments and activities, space for friends, space for solitude, space to laugh, and most importantly space to love. Life is a constant shuffling of bodies, objects, and plans to make the space needed to ensure that it all fits.
Much like all of the space created in various ways and forms, we make space in our hearts. This space we form in our hearts is so powerful and extraordinary that all of the other ways we make space becomes insignificant in comparison. The funny thing is that this loss of our own space is the creation of so much more for our kids - a space that exceeds expectations and knows no boundaries.