E is for Elbow Space

Blogging A to Z…… E could easily be for electronics, but that’s an everyday topic I’m already tired of having. “Mom, can I play on your phone, your iPad, the Wii, the computer, something …. anything?” Please put something electronic in front of my face before I have to engage with people around me.

It’s a daily grind this conversation/argument about time allowed and time eclipsed on something electronic. And it’s only the beginning for us. Instead this post is about elbow space. Elbow space is about movement and free space, but that’s only if there’s no one around to fill it.

When my boys were babies I nursed them, rocked them and held them in the crook of my arm – in my elbow space. It was also their space. They lived there and I loved it. Then they turned into toddlers and lived in the space around my legs and tugged on my elbows. My space was still theirs and I longed for personal elbow space, relishing it while they napped. Now that they are boys, athletic and leggy, they elbow into everything they encounter. They lean in, nudge, push, spill into space like it will disappear if they don’t physically fill it. They remind me of puppies, unable to pass each other without rolling around and wrestling each other.

Over the years we have spent the month of July with my parents at their cozy summer camp in Vermont. It’s a small space for four adults and two kids and that’s just the minimum amount of people you’ll find here. Their camp has a way of drawing friends from the other neighboring camps. We pile onto the outdoor porch for a cocktail or squeeze in around a table for nighttime games. There is no elbow space here. It’s everyone’s space. I always thought only kids leaned into other people’s space, but I’ve come to realize that adults do too. And losing elbow space with friends and family is something I’ve come to love. It’s what makes an environment cozy and welcoming.

So if you’re feeling cramped and you’ve got no room to spread your wings, get comfortable and enjoy the warmth of those around you. There will be plenty of room for your elbows when you’re alone with your electronics.

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