Tuesday, August 25, 2015

You Will Never See a Picture Perfect Kids Room in My House

"It's just a room," someone will say.

Just four walls, a window, a closet and a doorway. Just soft subtle grey walls.

Yet it will always be more. It's giggles and "Don't go yet Mommy." It's "play with me Daddy" and jump on the bed. It's youth and energy.

It's tantrums and uh-ohs and tears. It's holding the door shut and "feel free to come out when"'s.
Those subtle grey walls whisper Mickey and bird posters. Pete the Cat. Cars and trucks. They are baseball and the alphabet. They are pictures of family and friends.

Those posters will evolve before my eyes. Someday I will remember when I used to have to tape each item up for him. When he wasn't tall enough and I didn't quiet trust him with the tape anyways. Each piece on those plain walls adds to independence and builds character. I will see my boy turn from a baby to a toddler to a kid to a teen within those walls. I will watch as those scribbles and sticker collections and smeared-half-hazard-drive-by paintings become deliberate thoughtful stories and drawings. Then of course I will watch the inevitable shift as his own artwork and school work fades into pop culture; movies, bands, video games, ...girls!

Someday that "get over it lady" look will creep across someone's face. A sentimental sap he will think. It might even be him. He won't remember, can't remember the way he grinned up at me prouder than a lion over the whole savanna (and stalling bedtime better than a car driven by a teenage girl driving a stick), "I wanna read you a book now, Mommy!" He won't see the hours of snuggles, the thousands of diaper changes.

They are just plain grey walls.
And they are "I did its!" and "I'm ok, Mom"'s. They help to grow his sense of individuality. They give him a slice of control over his world.

Those walls give me insight into my child's inner world. His likes and dislikes. His maturation. His style. When other parents complain someday of their child being sucked away into social media or teenagerdom, I'll have those walls. He'll have those walls.
Those walls are the unspoken understanding. The "I don't have to tell you, Mom"'s. The "you already know, Mom"'s. His identity will grow and flourish and I will not have stood in his way.

Those plain, subtle grey walls. Those four walls. Whispered memories of phases and characters bygone. Conveying character, personality, individuality.

I should know. My parents had those walls too:

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