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The Space Between by Noreen Heffernan

“The Space Between

The tears we cry

Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more”

-Dave Matthews Band

We met our friends at the boardwalk on Saturday where there were a ton of kiddie rides. It was crowded and I think my kids were a tad bit over stimulated. If you were looking at a slideshow, you would see some happy moments and smiles but some extreme moments as well. You would see the moment on the motorcycle ride when my 4 year old cried hysterically because she was scared. They had to stop the ride right smack in the middle of it. You would see me chasing my 2 year old down the boardwalk, making deals for her to come back and join the group. You would see all those moments as a parent where we have to keep our eye on our children, how we cannot have a normal conversation because we are always making sure, checking out the scene, holding hands, helping on and off rides, being a parent. You would see my husband having a long talk with my 4 year old trying to convince her to have fun. You know what, sometimes the big bright lights and fancy rides aren’t what they want or need. I’m realizing this.

We went to the beach afterward and sat down while our kids played in the sand and ran from the waves. They were quiet and peaceful and in turn, so were we. They shoveled the sand with their little shovel and pail. They collected sea shells. They didn’t need anything elaborate; the extravagant rides or the fast-paced movement. But, they wouldn’t be happy sitting home either. They needed somewhere in the space between. They needed nice, slow-moving, outdoor moments in the sun and with their family and friends. I feel like I have to remind myself of this. Sometimes they don’t need anything amazing or out of control, they just need amazing moments of peace and family. They just want me to sit and dig a hole with them. Or stand and hold their hands while we put our feet in the water. They don’t need much. What they need is somewhere in the space between the elaborate and the basic.

Do we put pressure on ourselves to make things amazing for them? Absolutely. We think we need to go above and beyond to make them happy. But, we don’t. We don’t need to bring the bright lights and fancy plans. We just need to bring ourselves. We are creating memories. I feel like I know what they will remember. They won’t remember the big things, those big moments that we think. They will remember the everyday ones in the space between holidays and big parties, boardwalk rides and sitting on the couch. They won’t remember the grand old things; they will remember the everyday things and people who put stamps on their lives and hearts. As parents, I think we have to remember this. I know I do.

Life is crazy. Social media is crazy too. It makes us think we have to do more for our kids than the next person. It makes us think that we aren’t bringing them to the biggest/best place on earth, than we aren’t doing enough. But, we are. We know our children. We know what they need. And we know that they don’t need all the big plans. They need us. They need simplicity. This summer, I want to remember to give this to them.

After the beach, we had a nice dinner outside with our family and the girls swung a golf club around in the backyard and threw grass at each other. They picked flowers and collected rocks and gave them to the people they love so much. We pretended the rocks were diamonds and wrapped up the flowers in leaves to make mini bouquets. Oh my goodness, they loved it. This is what I am talking about. This is what they need; this is what we need as parents. Simple moments wrapped in big love.

There are so many extremes in our life. Highs and lows; hard times, difficult months, illnesses, etc., but I hope where you find yourself is somewhere in between; in the middle, in the simple, in the uncomplicated, in the honest, in the hopeful, in the happy…

In the space between …

“The Space Between

Your heart and mine

Is the space we'll fill with time”

-Dave Matthews Band

~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies


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