New Rooms, Old Rooms

Signs of summer are emerging. The little patch of Hyacinth in the back yard and the Flowering Crab Apple tree in the front have bloomed and dropped their blossoms already. The Irises by the shed have sprouted and the Hostas under the deck are beginning to stretch up and outward.

Kacey sends text messages from school to work out plans to come home over Mother’s Day weekend. It will be her birthday and she wants to spend time with friends who will be going to prom that weekend. She won’t be done quite yet but wants to move some of the bigger stuff out of her dorm and spend a few days at home before going back mid-week to take her finals and finish up her freshman year of college. When she goes back that last week, she’ll be saying goodbye to friends she’s made during her first year of school, a more permanent goodbye than you might expect. She’s transferring to a new school next fall. It’s only slightly farther away from home than she is now, and she’ll be happier there. I can already tell. Story for another time, maybe.

Brad isn’t coming home this summer. It will be the first summer since he started college that he won’t be back home. He’s got a good job where he is, and summer classes to tackle so he can graduate by this fall. He has a new apartment, and a girlfriend and dog who love him and who make him very happy. That makes it easier for me to accept that his life becomes more his own every day. But it’s a bittersweet feeling.

Of course, Jake is still home, not that I see him very often. I sometimes go entire days without seeing him. And even when he’s not working, he’s gone, usually off somewhere with his buddies, playing football or working on cars.

We’re at a strange phase in life, not quite past the parenting phase but far from fully immersed in it. I enjoy the freedom of this stage of life, but still find myself quite often reminiscing wistfully about the past. I wonder if that wistful feeling will pass someday and I’ll fully embrace the empty nest.

Regardless, we’re going to take advantage of our extra space and freedom this summer. I have a shoulder that’s screaming out for a new memory-foam mattress. Our new bed will be the catalyst for improvements in the kids’ bedrooms. Jake will move to Brad’s bedroom, which is smaller than his, but in better shape. He’s perfectly willing to make the switch and will get a new bed out of the deal. His six-foot-something frame has rather outgrown his twin bed.

Jake’s current room needs an overhaul – new flooring, new window coverings and new paint. I’ve always decorated the kids rooms in colors of their choosing. The last time we painted Jake’s room, he was in an orange phase. It’s time to cover up the orange with something a little more subtle, I think. Our queen size bed will move to that room, which will now become the guest/Brad’s room.

Kacey’s room – now that’s another story. Her walls were painted several years ago in a patchwork of oranges, deep pinks and reds. I dread the thought of painting over it all. I’m sure it’s going to take several coats of primer to cover it up.

With so much new in the works, I think we’ll just leave Kacey’s room alone for the time being. Besides, I like the fact that the “crazy” room reminds me that my baby girl will continue to come home to me, at least for another summer or two. I like the fact that there is something so full of life with her personality written all over it, something that fills me with smiles and anticipation, something to welcome her home as long as she wants to come back.

No, I really don’t want to change that room at all. Not yet.

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17 thoughts on “New Rooms, Old Rooms

  1. You daughter’s room looks very nice. It has a theme, unlike my son, who insisted that we paint his room a vibrant red when he was in high school. When he left home, I painted it a nice neutral color and you’re right … if you decide to change it, be prpeared for a coat of primer folowed by at least two coats of fresh new paint. I’d leave it alone until you want to sell the house. :-)

  2. Okay, I totally adore the paint job in Kasey’s room–but then again I’m into bold color. I’m sure it will be good to have her home for the summer. Hope you’re having a great day, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  3. Wow, whatta room! Very outside-the-box! I really like the design, yet at the same time wonder if I could sleep in there.

    Our 3 all share one room. It’s the biggest bedroom, but there’s not much left after 3 beds, 3 “end tables” (a.k.a. little file cabinets) and two dressers. They’ve talked about different themes, but that would require having them all agree. In the meantime it’s smudgy walls with mess covered carpeting.

    I think change is good, but it’s hard to let go of the good old days too. I hope you can at least get rid of the sore shoulder.

  4. “We’re at a strange phase in life, not quite past the parenting phase but far from fully immersed in it. I enjoy the freedom of this stage of life, but still find myself quite often reminiscing wistfully about the past. I wonder if that wistful feeling will pass someday and I’ll fully embrace the empty nest.”

    Awwwwwwwww. *HUGS*

    And, I LOVE how Kacey’s room is painted! Don’t change it for as long as possible!

  5. I’m excited about my College Kid being home Mother’s Day weekend too, but since she is trying to establish state residency, she won’t be moving home this summer. I understand how you’re feeling. It’s weird to realize your child is finally, completely on their own. {{hugs}}

  6. Yes, Kacey’s room is awesome. It needs to stay that way for a while. My daughter (only 13) chose a bright “toothpaste” color blue. Kinda green, kinda blue, VERY bright. I don’t know how she sleeps in there, but the color is totally her, so I love it!
    How wonderful that Brad is happy. I tell you, out of all the things I want for my kids, I think happiness is most important to me. As much as you’ll miss him, it must bring you great comfort to know that he is doing well.
    You’ve done a fantastic job as a mother. Hopefully it won’t be long before you can sit back and “embrace the emptying nest.” (Jake may keep it from totally being empty. lol My husband and I joke that it’s going to be difficult to sell our house with a 19 year old still glued to his computer chair in one of the bedrooms.)

  7. I am wishing time to draaaaaaag by here…not ready to relinquish my rein on my boys just yet, but I can feel the tug from the almost-7th-grader. I know I will have done my job right when they step out the door on their own and conquer whatever the world throws at them, right.

  8. Glad that you’ll get to see your daughter soon Terri. I don’t blame you for leaving her room as is. My parents encouraged my brother and I to visit as much as possible–I think part of their hook was to leave our rooms undisturbed.

    Then they wound up moving close to the beach–which is the best hook.

    Have a great weekend.

  9. Well as you know from my last blog post – you’re never too old nor are your children too old for you to miss them. But you seem to be doing much better than you feared a year ago.

  10. Kacey’s transferring after one year?? Yep, that sounds like another blog post to me! I’ve left Domer’s room pretty much the same (not turned it into an office or anything, ha!). He won’t even approve my moving the furniture around! It’s comforting that they still think of it as “their” room!!

  11. Oh, ten cans of off-white to cover that paint job. I envy how much you miss your kids. Mine were not easy and still aren’t … I love them but sometimes, I wish they’d be independent for a while.

  12. I’ve got to say those are some really interesting colors. Not sure if I could get any sleep in there but it does exude Kacey’s character. I’m with Mel, don’t change it (yet). There will be time later on when you can repaint it (if you can), but for now, I’d leave it as is to give her something to come home to from college.

  13. Good thing I don’t need to worry about Maya seeing this post and that picture of Kacey’s room! When Mandy painted Maya’s room a couple years ago, she wanted her walls to be a really bright, bright turquoise on one side and the rest of the room done then in a really, really, equally bright (should I say “Vibrant” maybe) hot pink! Not my color choices for sure, but she was happy enough with it although after she got her room all painted, is about when she switched gears and began sleeping with me. And here, I thought it was that I had a tv set in my room that she found appealing and maybe it was the calm of the brown paneling there. (My room used to be the sunporch -hence the brown paneling.)

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