Living in Small Spaces
Many of you might remember the difficulties we had finding a place to live when we arrived in Edinburgh. Not only was it at the tail end of their International festival (a big music and arts festival every year held in Edinburgh) but it was also the beginning of the school year which meant that every student in the world was arriving in Edinburgh and looking for a place to live. Okay – slight exaggeration, but it certainly felt like it. As we were beginning our flat search it quickly became evident the we were about to embark on a period of small space living.
Not that we had a massive house in the States, but we were about to downsize – I mean really downsize. Some of the flats we looked at were tiny, tiny. I look back now and chuckle as I remember my thoughts when viewing some flats ‘we can live here’ ‘this will work’ ‘Calvin doesn’t need that much space’. Oh boy – the thoughts of desperation. I also remember thinking that living on the 3rd floor, no elevator but with a spiral staircase was manageable. Oh boy – the thoughts of desperation.
So, when we looked at our current flat (with the 45 other people – I told you every student in the world was looking), we both chuckled and thought the place to be perfect. It was the largest flat we had viewed and it even had an elevator (we had never seen a flat with an elevator in Edinburgh), but we thought that there is no way we would get it. But, you know how this ends. We did get it and when we were notified it felt like we had won some sort of international competition although we were going to pay monthly for the prize.
It’s all relative, right? We live in a city where small spaces are the norm. I mean, a college dorm fridge is the norm for most families! We feel like we have struck gold with our current flat, but it is still a small space. There is no backyard, or front-yard, for Calvin to play in. There is no designated ‘play-area’ inside. I don’t have a laundry; the washing machine is in the kitchen. There is no clothes dryer or outside clothes line; we have a permanent clothing rack in our bedroom. And there is no storage; our six empty suitcases have taken up residence in our closets and under our beds.
…enter a two-year old. He has two boxes full of toys, two soccer balls, a cricket bat, crayons, play-do, books….and a double size bed. He has a hallway to kick his soccer balls down, his own little table to colour and play with Play Doh and our couch to read his books on. He has a park within walking distance where he can run, play on the equipment and feed the ducks. He has a stroller that his Mum can drag him on and off buses and he has a Dad that lets him push him over as soon as he comes through the door. I think he will be fine in this small space.
You see, I’m the one that thinks he needs more. I’m the one that thinks he is missing out on things. I’m the one that thinks he needs an Australian beach! I think I have been worried that this isn’t enough for Calvin. What am I thinking? How wrong can I be? You see – I am beginning to understand that Calvin’s story is exactly that; Calvin’s story. His story will be different to my story. His story began in Nashville, TN and is currently playing itself out in Edinburgh, UK. These circumstances will shape him in ways that I can never imagine and I really need to stop worrying about the things I think he needs and enjoy all the things and experiences we have right now.
Because we have all we need.