Dave Matthews Band has a song called “The Space Between” and it’s a truly great song. Something in the music and the lyrics speaks to my heart and every time I hear it I feel my breath catch in my throat.
In this first five weeks of becoming a mom to my second child I’ve often found myself drowning in the endless nappy changes, burping, early morning feeds, late night feeds, cooking, cleaning, washing babygrows, washing more babygrows, naptime, bathing, and making sure that no one feels left out with the new addition to the family (this includes extra hugs for the Labradors).
Doctor’s rooms and paediatrician’s offices are the only places I visited in those early days. Colic and reflux for the baby, chest infection for the toddler, adding to the already overstressed parents.
I’ve felt tired before, I’ve felt exhausted before (I was after all a videogame journalist who survived press conference day at E3 and Gamescom!)…but never have I felt this level of tiredness and exhaustion before. And quite frankly it’s tiring and exhausting!
And yet there are spaces between all of this tiredness, in between packing lunchboxes and wiping dirty feet, that time seems to stand still for a few moments. Last night my daughter was in the bath and I had one of those moments. When the exhaustion lifted for a brief time, to see her smile as she splashed in the water and to hear her laugh as the sponge tickled her toes. The sound helped to clear the fog and brought a ray of happiness to my otherwise tired heart.
A little while after her bath I had another one of those moments, husband was holding baby and Amy wanted to climb on his lap too. After climbing on behind Ethan she started singing the horsey song. Husband started to rock the two of them back and forth, while trying to remember the words to the song. Time stood still for a short while, the piles of washing, dirty dishes, and thoughts of the night ahead of feeding and changing forgotten for now as she gently held on to her tiny brother’s shoulders and before long all three of us were laughing hysterically.
This is what it’s about. Not about the tedious nature of housework that a family brings, not about the list of shopping you still have to do, it’s about embracing these moments of pure joy together. The space between. So next time you’re tired, next time you’re blue. Find your space between, find your moment, and enjoy it. There’s always time to plan supper a little later. And that hug won’t be around forever.