Making Space For Another

When we first met, my boyfriend and his friends teased me relentlessly. You don’t have baby fever, huh? Just you wait! Bets were placed. Twenty-five, twenty-eight, thirty.

Just. You. Wait.

I passed all those milestones with a shrug and a nonchalant “maybe someday.”

We would make for great parents. We would enjoy teaching a tiny human all the things we’ve learned. We would appreciate having someone visit when we’re old and decrepit. Logically, it made sense. But, emotionally, I could take it or leave it.

Then, two years ago, my best friend had a baby. All bets were off.

A few weeks before my thirty-second birthday, it happened. Whatever its biochemical origin, the baby fever finally set in. And it wasn’t a gentle stream, but a raging waterfall.

Despite the desire, the fatigue was still crushing. There was no way I could handle a child. I didn’t even have the energy to offer an hour or two of babysitting. On top of that, the abundance of twins in the family exacerbated that feeling. Not just one hungry, crying, sleepless baby, but the possibility of two? No, thank you.

But I still found myself buying adorably whimsical set of fabrics to one day be fashioned into a baby quilt. Books, berries, fairies, constellations, and children riding wild animals and playing dress up. The child in my fell in love, and I couldn’t resist. Oof! I’ve never even made a quilt before. What is wrong with me?

Over the last six months, I’ve begun to feel like an actual human begin again. I now have more energy than I know what to do with. Maybe, just maybe, I could handle a child at some point in the future. Maybe.

I’ve been visiting my best friend and her little one more often lately. My sweet little niece doesn’t say much, but always lights up when she sees me, picks up a board book, and plops down on my lap for story time.

“BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The bear will tromp through the forest on his big, hungry feet and SNIFF! SNIFF! SNIFF! Find the strawberry…”

We read the same story over and over and over and over. And I absolutely love it. The innocence, adoration, curiosity… young children are such a delight! There is so much to be learned from them.

I remember in my early-20s reading a book on relationships. The author advised opening yourself up to romantic love by creating physical space in your life. Sleep on the one side of the bed, rather than in the middle. Make space for another. Set two place settings, despite living alone. Make space for another. Nine years into an incredible relationship, I still think about that often. Keep space for the other.

I’m beginning to wonder if the same is true when it comes to inviting a child into our lives.

I bought that quilting fabric knowing there was a very real risk I could not have children. In which case it would still one day be lovingly crafted and gifted to a sweet little one in my life. Or, more realistically, myself.

Though I haven’t even taken it out of the shipping box, I wonder if bringing the makings of a baby quilt into my home was message out to the universe that I am creating space for another.

Perhaps meeting my best friend’s newborn two years ago was the nudge I needed–the invitation I had been waiting on–to open my heart up to new possibilities. Maybe, just maybe.

15 thoughts on “Making Space For Another

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  1. Those fabrics are the absolute sweetest! I will be starting another baby quilt soon as my daughter is expecting in the spring, so I should start sooner than later! Babies & children are wonderful, exhausting but wonderful & worth every second of lost sleep. ❤️

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  2. Erin — I love it when you write about your sweet niece. And thank you for sharing this beautiful imagery about ‘making space’. I love that on so many levels. Most of all, I’m so happy for you — for the place you’re in right now. xo! 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vicki! She’s the only little person in my life, and she is truly such a joy. Mom and Dad are immigrants with no family in the country, so I love giving her the experience of an extended family. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post gave me delightful chills of recognition and love, Erin. I didn’t get that baby urge until my 40s but you’ve described it so well as a flood. There is a wonderful baby book “You are my I love you” that someone gave me after I had my daughter. I’d read it over and over to her and tear up every time. This journey is so precious!

    What a beautiful practice of making space! Beautiful post and I can’t wait to see where making space takes you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought for sure you were making an announcement. 😉
    I loved the post, Erin, and there’s so much wisdom in the saying “Make space for another.” It could really apply to so many areas in life. Simply beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha!! 😂 After health, we’ll need to sort of the financials, childcare, and other logistics… but maybe (hopefully) in a few years. 😉
      Yes, the “make space for another” really struck a chord with me back then, and you’re right that it could be applied to so many areas.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What beautiful thoughts! What a lovely quilt!

    If I can throw in my 2 cents here: you have the gift of thinking about having a child before getting pregnant, so preparing your life to receive a child needs more prep than the physical buying of things. I recommend getting your support system ready and set up. Letting people around you know that if you take this step, there will be times you will be relying on them, and it may not always be at times convenient to them.

    When I was going through Chronic Shingles, I also became pregnant. My support system was non-existent. My husband abdicated all husbandly and fatherly duties, my mother, brother and extended family saw no need to even babysit occasionally, so I was doing it all myself. I wouldn’t recommend or wish that on anyone. My daughter had severe digestive issues from babyhood onwards, so there was the added stress of her health issues on top of mine.

    I wish you all the best with your journey, and do hope you could become a parent.

    Question, is there a need in your area for short-term fostering of babies or toddlers? You could work with social services to foster a child, then take a few weeks to rest before you foster another. There is a need for loving foster parents in many areas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Tamara! I completely agree with making all the arrangements in life–health is the first building blocked laid, and now it’s time to look a financial, a support system, and other time commitments. The soonest feasible timeline would be about 3-4 years out, so hopefully that gives us the time and resources to prepare, if we so choose. 😊

      In my area, we have a desperate need for fostering. Unfortunately, the same reasons we would need to delay starting our own family would apply to fostering. There are so many children in need of loving homes.

      Liked by 1 person

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