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What I Needed Was the Opposite of Space

This weekend, I’m not sure what was going on with Ayva, but she had to be on me at every moment. I mean, she’s an only child and she’s a toddler, so she’s around me all of the time, but this weekend was different. She wanted to touch me at all times. Her feet were on me, she had her arms intertwined with mine. At one point, she was laying across my back as we watched a movie. For real, she was on me like white on rice.
I didn’t mind. I don’t mind. I love my little girl. I love to cuddle and snuggle buggle and give lots of kisses. For some reason, though, by Sunday afternoon, I was just…hmm…I still don’t really know how to explain it. I just, I don’t know. I felt anxious. Tired. Overwhelmed. And I needed some space. Physically. I just needed some physical space. Ayva was totally being a good girl. She wasn’t doing anything at all. Coming off of a week of being sick, and being home from school a couple of days, I’m sure she wasn’t feeling quite like herself, either, and was just seeking a little bit of stability and comfort in me. And I just needed space.
Every couple of minutes for about an hour I’d ask Ayva to “please move your feet, Puddin”, “Ayva, please scoot over just a little bit”. Finally I picked her up and moved her over and said, “Baby, please, Mommy just needs a little bit of space. Please.”
Of course she looked at me, started crying and wailed, “But we don’t need space!”.
Cue heart breaking.
I grabbed her in my arms, hugged her and let her know that I love her very much. My need for space dissolved as I held her close for the rest of the movie. The anxious feelings that I had melted away, I felt more calm and was able to relax. Y’all, this is the truth, I felt better!
What I needed was the opposite of space. Being anxious and overwhelmed, what I really needed was some intentional closeness, some good old fashioned cuddles. I’m a really “inside my head” type person. I like to work things out alone. I’m used to consoling myself, motivating myself…I’m kind of a lone wolf like that.
Being a mom, especially a mom to a thoughtful and wise child like Ayva, though, is helping me to realize that I’m not alone. There are people, even teeny tiny, 2 year old people, that care about me and want to be close to me. And I want to be close to them.
Now this doesn’t mean that I didn’t put her in her own bed when it was time for bed. Whether she stayed there, that’s a different story. But it’s all good, though, because right now, what I need isn’t space. What we need isn’t space. What we need is love and hugs and snuggles. And to remember how blessed we are to have someone to share our space with in the first place.


Tuesday 27th of March 2012

Oh, my gosh, Brandi! The timing of your post is crazy! My most recent post touched on this in my own life. Basically, I've dealing with anxiety lately and a recent conversation with a buddy brought on a huge revelation.

I was telling her that whenever the anxiety takes over, I think, "Well, I'll just go home, chill out, watch a DVD and I'll feel better. I just need some quiet time alone." I told her, though, that when I do this, I don't feel any better. Sometimes I feel worse. She asks me, "So what does that tell you?" I respond, "That I need to be better at being by myself." She says, "No, it means that when you're upset, you need support!"

Oooohhh. Right. Crazy.