filling space

I fell asleep on the couch Sunday afternoon after struggling with more GI bug issues. Apparently it’s a county-wide issue. I was blessed with it not once, but twice. Awesome.

Anyway, I fell asleep on the couch Sunday.

I always lie on my side with my legs bent at the knee.

Tucked in that space that my bent legs make, Eddie snuggles himself in and under my blanket to watch a movie quietly.

That is where he always fits, into the space I leave open.

If I am in the chair, he somehow finds his way up there too, even though he has long outgrown being two in that chair. But I can’t kick him out. This chair is where “we” began.

And so he fills any space that is left. His long legs sprawled over my lap, his head finding my shoulder.

When I put him to bed, we read a chapter book–right now it’s Winnie the Pooh. A chapter a night. Sometimes two if he asks really nice because I can’t say no to just one more chapter.

Once the light goes off, and our chatting stops, his breath becomes heavy and regular and he rolls into me, again filling the space.

When I am sitting on the couch, so is he…up against me so close there is no room for space. It’s instinctive to him to fill up any space between us.

When he was an infant, there was a lot of space between us, so much so that I sought help.

That was four years ago.

He was almost a year old.

I spent his whole first year putting distance between us because I was sick. But I didn’t have GI issues. Nope, I had brain issues.

Medication and therapy helped but it was a long road.

Now each time I noticed him right by my side, I smile because he doesn’t remember. He has no recollection of our hard start. What he knows is that his mom is his safe place–his protection from bears in his nightmares, as he says.

What he also doesn’t know is that he is my safe place too.

Every time I look at him I think of how far I have come and how I am so SO lucky to have him as my boy.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I love this. Every part and word of this.

  2. I have an almost 5-year-old who is over half my size already and loves spreading out over me, too 🙂

    When I was little, my aunt used to call that space in between the crook of her bent knees and her backside the “knook.”

  3. Oh, Katie. I love this. I notice that filling in of the spaces between us too – even still sometimes with my oldest. Those moments do make me feel close to them emotionally, too.

  4. Beautiful. I am so very glad that you two are able to be close now. I am glad that his closeness can pull you away from those places of distance. And I am glad that you have a safe place.

  5. nice to be each other’s safe places. I’m so glad the two of you have that.

  6. Love your honesty. We all need safe places.

  7. There is not a single word I don’t love about this post. Except the GI issues… xox

  8. this is my middle child – my daughter. I swear she’d wear my pants at the same time as me – she wants that close. It’s been like that since she first lay as a newborn on my chest. Can’t get close enough to the mom. She actually crawled into bed with this morning. She was cold because she kicked off her covers. I don’t mind snuggle time — sharing my warmth. The quiet, still moments are golden.

    except, she doesn’t have them.
    nope, I got 36 versions of Let it Go and Brave, an elbow to the face, knees in my back and cold feet on my legs.
    I love the snuggles – really. But oh my…. she never stops fidgeting!
    why? why with the always moving? LOL
    I need a calm cuddler like Eddie. <3

  9. It will always be amazing to me how close our bonds are with our children, no matter how dicey certain times can be. There is no other relationship like it.

    Beautiful post.