Leah Perrault

Leah Perrault

Perrault works in Catholic health care in Saskatoon and writes and speaks about faith. Her website is leahperrault.com. Her Register column will appear monthly.

“I am enough” is a mantra I’ve carried close to my heart these last few years. Brené Brown taught me about being enough with her meditations on the Gifts of Imperfection. Parenthood forced me to acknowledge both what I cannot do and how to show up imperfectly for my kids. And I have been teetering for the last several weeks on an edge of enough I had not seen before.

Longing is a place I visit frequently, passing through on the way to somewhere else. The floor is worn at the entrance way and in front of the window, where walking gently back and forth has left its mark. The chair is comfortable in its familiarity, having moulded itself to my body’s curves. Since I expect to be moving on to somewhere more important, this little cabin doesn’t get the attention it deserves. But I’ve spent a lot of time in this longing this year. And the longing is wearing its place in me, too.

Space was not on my mind when I began a dream job at 23, four months pregnant.

Saving the open document on my computer, I close my door with intention, mentally leaving the worries of work inside my office. I wish my co-workers a good evening and check in with myself as I walk to daycare to get my littlest one. We drive to school to pick up the big three while I review the evening’s supper plan. My oldest is finally big enough to sit in the front seat and we chat about our days while the small three connect in the back. The days blend together and I am keeping my heart fixed on Barbara Brown Taylor’s question: “What is saving your life right now?”

Awkward floated to my lips a few times last week before I saw the pattern. The stumbling and crashing of growing children and adolescents finding themselves in bigger bodies than the days before. Constant adjustments during mask practice sessions. Remembering the diapers and the keys and the shoes, only to forget to pack lunch in a new season’s morning routine. We are making it through, but it is painfully awkward.

Falling is on my list of least favourite things.

Honest is hard. There is nothing like a season of physical distancing to remind me of that truth.

Space is not a word I associated with love for most of my life. I grew up longing for the freedom of stretching further away from the intimacy of my family and small Saskatchewan town. I sat in the farmhouse window sill in my bedroom, staring up at the expansive, prairie sky of stars, full of wonder at all the space in the universe for all of us.

Feelings are constantly swirling in my world — in health care and in my home and in my heart. The myriad of messages coming from every direction are little help in sorting through the emotional tremors.

Staying the course is an ironic metaphor for an asthmatic whose longest race ever was 3,000 metres.

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