This I Believe

Staci - Oak Park, Michigan
Entered on November 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood

I Believe in Creating Space

I believe in Creating Space. I was inspired to write this essay by my six-month-old son, Christopher. It was at naptime that this realization came to me. We were lying side by side unwinding. I had all the nap ingredients: his binkie, his special blankie, and his mommy. It seemed having these ingredients, not much else mattered. Combined they created a safe space, in which nothing could hurt him and Christopher was free to let his heavy lids fall and dream.

I realized that this physical space was constructed of emotional walls. In his waking hours, this same space, wherever you may move it, allowed him to reach outward and explore. The walls were adjustable too, such as when something new invades his bubble and he stops and observes until he’s comfortable again and he can move on in his explorations.

I guess I began thinking of this space of Christopher’s when I was first pregnant. How truly amazing it is that our bodies, perfect as they already are, are able to shift and grow and stretch to allow space for new life. As a woman’s rib cage expands, her hips deepen and widen, and belly buttons pop forward, the rest of her world follows in this re-arrangement to make room for the quickly growing addition. We move our furniture, our social habits and our thoughts to places that echo a welcoming hello to the baby inside.

My husband and I found great stability in the idea of Christopher. We were wandering souls looking for a new frontier. We were exploring all the world had to offer for this new challenge. We found our change, excitement and stability, not only in our own backyard, but also within ourselves; with someone from inside of us.

Christopher was very eager to make his presence known in utero as he trampolined around inside of me, and he came out even louder. As though he had literally dragged out of me all of the volume and strength I kept compressed within my own chest. Suddenly, the day he was born, this small space inside of me that started as a simple thought, had pushed and pulled and finally turned me inside out.

So I have found a space in my life that I wasn’t expecting. I have embraced this space that was given to me by my son and for my son. I decided to allow myself a pause in my career and in my agenda and give myself to him for a while. To help him fall asleep, to let him reach beyond, to build his comfort zone around me until he feels strong enough to carry that space within himself.

When that moment comes, that time when my physical presence is no longer needed for him to dream, I will feel much larger than when we began… I will be more like a coral reef full of spaces; Wide open for the ocean of possibilities to flow through, and strong enough to withstand the beating.