Love Takes Up Space

It’s funny isn’t it?… In a family there are always squabbles, arguments, difficult moments, crazy busyness and chaotic messiness… But even when we don’t notice it, there is always love.

I didn’t realise until driving in the car this morning, that love actually takes up space. One child is away on an adventure, and the other two are missing her so much. They said the car felt strange without her in it, like there was an empty space that should have been filled.

It is amazing how when you remove a child, the family dynamic changes. Things tend to run more smoothly – which can be momentary relief – but at the same time, disconcerting. Routines are completed a little more quickly, but family chores take a little longer. The bathroom is a little less messy, but I am missing the scattered skincare and hair ties – crazy isn’t it?

Her room remains dark and quiet, and a little more tidy than usual. It’s quite obvious that the space taken up by messiness is also the space occupied with love.

There is an empty seat at the dinner table, a little more food left over, a few less crumbs to clean up… Love takes up space.

There was no jostling for the prime position at the breakfast bench this morning. In fact, that seat was left vacant. No waiting for what seems like an eternity for the kids to finish their breakfast and drag their feet to the car – usually one shoe on, and one shoe off!

She will be home in a few days – the squabbling will begin again, the messiness will be amplified, the chaos will return, there will be less food leftover and more crumbs at the table. We will probably run late for school… but there will be more laughter, more hugs, no vacant seat at the dinner table, at the breakfast bar, or in the car… Love definitely takes up space!

***

I have written these words from the viewpoint of a mother whose child is away for a short while, but depending on your perspective, these sentiments can apply to anyone in any situation… My heartfelt sympathies to those who are living with a permanent absence.

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