Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Personal Space

There is very little personal space when you have small children.  Kids don't understand spatial boundaries.  They reach out and touch your face when you're talking with them, they twirl their fingers through your hair, and they open doors to occupied bathrooms.  They weasel their way onto your laps when you're typing or reading.  They sidle up beside you when you're pulling hot dishes out of the oven.  They feel compelled to be close while you're folding laundry, wriggling in ways that undo all the folding that you've just done.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last night, Reese woke up repeatedly with pain in her legs.  She must be growing.  Joel and I alternated going into the bedroom to calm her, and on my last visit I simply laid down in bed with her.  I wrapped my arms around her and drew her close.  I put my head on her pillow and brushed her hair out of my way.

I invaded her personal space.

Within minutes I sensed her body relax.  Her breathing calmed, falling into the slower rhythm of sleep.  She's a child who is always on the move.  She jumps off furniture and tears through the house, but finally I had found a moment where I could simply hold her.  I waited until I was certain she had fallen asleep before I slipped out of her bed, tucked the covers around her, and returned to my own bed.  I could have stayed much longer.

Perhaps this is why kids invade our personal space.  They want to steal moments with us when we're not on the go, when they can simply reach out and hold us -- just like we want to hold them.

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