One of the phrases that is oddly echoed through my house is “make room.” I’m not sure where this began: I can only imagine it’s something that comes out of my mouth without my noticing. “Let’s make room at the table” we’ll say as we welcome my sister to eat with us. The Eldest, when he was beginning to use his words, used to exhort me to “make room” as together we would clear a space for the next activity, putting blocks away and readying ourselves for painting. It became a family joke, a line said between the adults, gently honoring the vocalizations of the young ones.
More recently, the Littlest has grabbed on to this phrase. To me, her use of “make room” is deeper, more striking, and always makes me pause. She has been saying this as we prepare for this next babe. Yes, she did move into her big brother’s room not long ago for night time sleep, and perhaps I uttered something about making room for the baby, but never did I stress the idea. I’m sure that there was more pomp and circumstance around being a big kid. But still.
And yes, isn’t that exactly what we are doing? In space, in heart, in body, in conversation? We are taking this season to prepare. This growing one is certainly making room where there hadn’t been: I’m sure that my bladder and diaphragm have been graciously relocated. The baby is present in most family conversations, as we wonder together who this little one will be. We are gestating as a family, shifting in sometimes uncomfortable form, molding around this life, to ready ourselves for his arrival. We are making room.
In all my eagerness to just get started with my calling as a mom to three little ones, I have often found myself ready to dive in right now. But I have forgotten how important this time that we have is now, to savor our family of four. Together, making room. It is special, isn’t it, when we see this gift of time that we have been given? This time, right now, for me to sit with the Eldest and read long Winnie-the-Pooh stories with him, because we can. This time, right now, when the Littlest and I can share music class, just the two of us. This time, right now, when I can nap, and read, and write, and think, even for just a moment. This time, right now, when my husband and I can wrap into each other, even if it is just to watch a show, without disruption. Because this is all about part of the “making room.” To take this time now, to pause and fill up, because I know, I know, what those newborn days, hours, minutes are like.
And yes, we are making room in our house. We are cleaning the clutter, going through baby clothes, washing receiving blankets. We will rearrange furniture. We will rearrange time. The joy is that the Little Ones are helping me do this. Together, we are making room.
One thing I know: that as this lion-pride of mine opens arms and moves ever so gently to the sides to welcome this babe, there won’t be a drop of love spared. While the shifting roles may take time to be worn well, to become familiar again, the blessing is that the love multiplies. My heart is not a finite space. This family will make generous, royal room, and we will know the blessing. In the space of family we don’t have to shelve one in order to make room for another.