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
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."
Hmm...now 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.
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?