Our home is one large open space. The cathedral ceiling looms protectively over one sprawling room providing space for dining, relaxing and cooking. We designed it intentionally to be an oasis of comfort and togetherness. The only walls separate the main living area from the bedrooms, and even then the two are connected by a wide hallway that maintains the feeling of one space rolling into the next.
Because of this, we spend a lot of time living in close company. At night, I cook dinner companionably chatting with my husband as he entertains the boys. They run wickedly, weaving and giggling around the island that is the heart of the kitchen. Sometimes they’ll sit in our eating nook colouring or playing with play doh, and others they’ll sit a stone’s throw away, alternating between watching a cartoon and exasperating me by climbing all over our furniture.
I stir, chop and sauté, watching as if from the sidelines of a busy sports field, calling out warnings like a coach or, more likely, a referee. I wonder where they came from—these two blond, vivacious growing boys. Though each is as familiar to me as I am to myself, at times they seem so surprising and separate. Long, difficult pregnancies and labours, and months and months of sleep lost to endless nursing, are all but forgotten.
Despite all that we’ve already been through, I am sometimes overwhelmed by their presence. It feels as though they’ve just been placed before me, like whirlwind gifts from God, missing a set of instructions.