When my children made the transition from crib to bed I did not fool around. Each went directly to a full (as opposed to either a toddler or twin-size mattress) thanks to my foresight that as little ones they would appreciate the space available for me to dole out cuddles and read books as I lay beside them and/but they would eventually grow to be large enough human beings to be insulted by a twin. I have logged many hours over the years laying alongside my kids and, as pathetic as it may sound, nearly every time I have mentally patted myself on the back (because it would be weird for me to actually pat myself on the back) for having made the “full mattress” choice – one which I consider among the best I have made as a parent. Given the myriad decisions I have been forced to make in my, gulp, 18 years of parenting, it should be telling to you that I determine this to be one of my best. Yes, it is a little thing (particularly when you compare it to some of the, um, bigger stuff) but man, has it served me well. I only hope all the other choices bode as well in the long run.
This weekend, Jessie (with some assistance*) rearranged and fumigated, er, cleaned up her room. As a result, she has developed a new adoration for just hanging out in there. The removal of the seven bags of crap (okay, there were closer to ten, but that sounds so outrageous, so pathological) which went on to be delivered to either the trash or Goodwill created the illusion of more space but the reality of a new serenity. Yes, Jessie, it seems, has become a bit of a hoarder**… not in the creepy, reality show sense (yet, anyway) but what was unearthed (and discarded) from the many shelves, drawers, crevices and, perhaps the most frightening: under the bed, did give me pause. I knew that it was cluttered with a few too many dolls (and wigs, and costumes) but perhaps my familiarity with it trumped my ability to acknowledge that it was in need of a mini makeover. Once it was all done, and for the first time in longer than I care to admit, it was a pleasure to go into her room. It has been just four days, but the difference is noteworthy…if only for now.
Late yesterday afternoon I was aggressively searching for a new book to download when I realized it had been some time since I had either seen or heard from Jessie. (I know, why not leave well enough alone, right?) I wandered upstairs to see what she was up to and found her happily splayed across her lavender-quilted, pink-pillowed bed engrossed in something or other on her Kindle Fire. (I would like to be able to assume that it was a book, but I suspect it was a game of some sort. No matter.) The room can certainly pass for a girl’s (despite the light blue carpet and complementary walls from male days gone by) and her hair, once again in need of a trim, was hanging in her face as it would any ten-year old girl. I patted her on the butt and with a slight rising of my chin silently requested that she make room for me. This time, unlike others in the past, she happily obliged. I nudged her over a bit to ensure my own comfort and lay my head on her newly washed pillowcases. I had every intention of engaging her in conversation, but instead I closed my eyes and reveled in the (newfound) serenity of the room. The irony of discovering calm in, of all places, Jessie’s domain, was not lost on me. Thoughts of her (on-going, never-ending, perpetual ) transition(s) from baby to toddler to kid to tween, not to mention the whole male to female thing, hindered my ability to form a thought or utter a word. I was literally overcome with a surge of contentment…and exhaustion.
I am not sure that I fell completely asleep as I recall hearing noises around me and a dull commotion downstairs, but I definitely drifted in that space between consciousness and unconsciousness where one’s head and eyes are heavy and whatever might be happening nearby is of no interest or consequence. I only lay there for about twenty minutes or so, but when I did drag my unapologetic ass off the bed, I was refreshed.
It, like many other things these past several years, snuck up and caught me unawares. I was just glad to have been awoken by a gentle shake from Jessie asking me if I wanted to have dinner. Sweet, right?
(Oh, but I would be remiss if I didn’t usher us all back to reality and point out that she wasn’t inviting me to dinner, rather she was requesting that I make it. Oh, snap.)
*Hugs, kisses and thanks to DP for taking the charge on this one. I wonder if he realizes that Jessie is still awaiting a paint job…preferably lavender.
**Let me assure you (and protect whatever may remain of my dignity) that there was nothing utterly, or even close to utterly, disgusting found. It was just your average, run of the mill, everyday crap to which my kid has a (serious) affinity.