Friday, March 01, 2013

Feathering Anew: Transforming a Room

As my faithful readers know by now, our one and only daughter, age 23,  moved out two weeks ago, leaving her mommy and daddy's home feeling emptier in more ways than one. A whole separate blog post is rolling around in my head and heart about that, but today I want to end the workweek on  a happy note.  Oh, yes, I am happy for her. She is in a wonderful location much closer to the school where she teaches. She's only 23 minutes from home, as the crow flies  papa drives.  Her landlady (26)who lives there,  and at least one other housemate are Christians who, so far, get along famously. We were glad to have yet another child ready, willing, and able to live independent lives as nature would have it.  Of course as nurture would have it, I kept saying, "Can't be possible. She is now packing stuff into boxes that she used to be able to sit in."

Whoa, I didn't mean to use so many words getting to the point of THIS post, which probably surprises no one.

I gave my grief a statute of limitations. I would let my tears flow for a week. I would feel sorry for myself  when I wanted (you know, "I'm not needed anymore. I'm a useless human being and don't know what to do now that she has just up and left." ). Then I'd feel proud of myself when I wanted ("Good job, Zo. They don't need you in the same ways anymore. They work for a living, do their own laundry, educate themselves as need be, cook and shop and clean on their own,  have their own strong faith in God...") .

It's a mother's prerogative, isn't it,  to swing on the Emotional Pendulum of Parenting a little longer than daddies swing?  For one week I would not touch her room except to take pictures of "How She Left It" and I would weep a little, but rein it in, telling myself, "Zo, she is not dead. Get a grip. She is just grown up. Be thankful your kids aren't hanging around mooching at 32 !") 


On day 8, my time limit was up on the "can't change my baby girl's room" and thus I began in earnest, shall we say, to envision it as a guest/hobby room.

This is where I need your input. Your ideas, suggestions, warnings, whatever.

Here's How She Left It. 

The view from her doorway...

Yes, she is a very bright girl, as her colors reveal.  Her dad helped her paint this room about 10 years ago, and teased her that it was his first indoor job where he needed sunglasses.

Trophies from softball, vases from her aunt's wedding, fake flowers from first graders, a pastel drawing I made.... She is coming back to decide what to do with these.   

She says we can keep the dresser. (Thanks, honey, considering we bought it.)  She also left me all her scrapbooking/card-making supplies because she thinks I'll use them more often. (Maybe, maybe not. I haven't impressed myself with progress in those departments for a long while.)

"Everything on the left side of the white thing you can keep, too. I'll come back for whatever's on the right side.  Oh, and you can recycle all those textbooks for all I care. I looked up their value. You could maybe get 20 bucks out of two of them, but I forget which two. I think maybe the Ed Pysch one and the Classroom Control Methods one? I dunno. You can look it up if you want." there's an idea of how to spend all this free non-mothering time on my hands.

She also gave me that stack of  empty 3-ring binders for all my "plans and ideas." The girl knows me well.

These pictures gave me pause. The one on the right is from our trip with GAIN (Global Aid Network) back in 2006.  She homeschooled through high school and wanted that trip more than anything, so it was a senior trip/grad gift/grad ceremony all in one. I went with her and it was one of my favorite EVER memories.

 I remember when she was 8. One day she was singing a scripture song in the back seat of the car. She stopped. Then said, 'Mommy, someday I want to be a missionary." Then she went back to her song. 

The mementos on the left side are from our trip to Mexico, 1999. When she sees them, she remembers wanting to buy every doll from every poor Mexican child in Progresso. When I see them, I remember it was on that vacation I had my second miscarriage in south Texas.

Inside the closet are a few things she's keeping here for her brother's wedding in June.  I hung some tissue paper, which doesn't want to be hung, obviously. There are also some stacking boxes I want to use, I think. And there's a quilt on the top shelf. I bought two matching ones for twin beds. She was going to share it with the little girl we were going to adopt from China.   Two days before I was to send the application over,  I found out I was pregnant.   Eight months later, Joel was born. We never adopted.

And now Joel has decided that his big sister's bedroom makes a great basketball court and her door is a backstop.

Wow. All those words, and did I even mention that I'm about to convert this bedroom into a guest/hobby room? 

I'm debating whether to decorate it like the rest of my house, with cherry woods and neutral tones,
or go with buttery pale yellow walls, a shabby chic queen bed and vintage style? I plan to do art, some sewing, maybe some scrapbooking, and occasionally napping in this room, and of course, accommodating guests from time to time, starting with a certain June wedding.

Want to chime in?


Rachel Anne said...

I feel your pain. I'm STILL stabbed in the heart when I go into my daughters' room. So very sad and happy and wistful.

Pulling myself together.....ahem. I could see a very feminine, soft decor in there. If it is going to be a craft/sewing room, it will likely get messy (naaah) so I'd go for something clean and simple for colors. Soft whites/cream for walls and furniture, with pops of color in fabrics and decor. I LOVE my studio - the girliest room in this house - and it says "mine all mine" all over it. After almost 30 years of marriage, I really, really appreciate that. I don't know that I ever had someplace that was "all mine" until my little space became available.

What do YOU want to see in there?

Amy said...

I'm absolutely the last person you want to ask for decorating advice...but I look forward to seeing what you come up with :)

Zoanna said...

Rachel, I have the same thoughts about what I want, except not cream walls (white walls make me nervous). Very soft yellow. The room gets lots of sunlight so it will be a bright, but soft, sunny place. I saw a big, tall white queen headboard with footboard and rails the other day in a furniture store, but not sure we can splurge on that yet. Thought about upcycling something to make it similar. I see white/off white furniture with pops of colors you suggest, from exposed fabric. I see organized containers behind doors with space left to hang guests' suit or dress. I see wispy sheers and privacy shades. I would love new carpet except that this old one sure makes a decent drop cloth! I see pegboard where the Mexican stuff hangs now. It would be close to a long sewing/art table. I see large letters that say things like "CREATE" and "DREAM" and "God is Here".

Zoanna said...

I have to convince Paul that by "yellow" I don't mean "yellow." He HATES yellow.

Zoanna said...

Amy, don't hold your breath. I can only HOPE this room is done before the wedding!

Zoanna said...

Amy, don't hold your breath. I can only HOPE this room is done before the wedding!

Janice C Johnson said...

RE: "Yellow but not YELLOW," try calling it "butter" or "pale ochre."
Actually, I love the colors as they are now, but I guess if I tried to work in there all the time they would make my teeth hurt.
Looking forward to "after" pictures!

Zoanna said...

I like the colors, too, but they're too bright for my working tastes. Besides, I want this room to have my signature now.

Zoanna said...

When Sarah was two, she wanted a yellow room and I convinced Paul to paint it "soft butter." He's a smart man, though. he smirked and said, "You mean yellow, don't you?" Ack, why couldn't I have married someone who can't think??? But anything for his little girl, he painted that tiny room butter. Yellow. Whatever.

Danielle said...

I can't wait to see what you come up with too!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Stopped by from Company Girl. Looks like your girlie has spread her wings, but I bet she will still need her mom from time to time. Blessings to you and your daughter as you walk this new path.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Well, looks like you have gotten some good ideas and suggestions. I redid my children's room as soon as they moved out to attend college. Of course, they were still here at times during breaks but I enjoyed uncluttering their rooms and making them nice guest rooms.

You will have such fun with this room and it can be your very own retreat. I can't wait to see what you end up doing.

Happy weekend!