January 25, 2011

The Great Bedroom Switcheroo

 Whenever Honey Man (as I've decided to re-title R) stresses about our finances, Frog Mama tells me to remind him that one must let go of money so that it may go forth and multiply and return bigger and better-- or something like that.

Actually, I've never passed that tidbit of wisdom on to Honey Man as I'm afraid he'll snarl at me, but this weekend we put that lesson into practice in a different way. We let go of our bedroom.

When we moved to The Woods, Sweet P took the bunk room, a tiny room next to Buckaroo's which consists of a bunk bed, a small closet, and just enough width for one and a half people to stand shoulder to shoulder. Sweet P was not so bothered by the lack of space (although it was a detriment to slumber parties). Her annoyance centered around the room's lack of complete walls and door, which hindered her ability to escape her family a proper fashion. Also, it meant that when her brother woke nightly at 3 a.m., she woke, too.

Since that moving day, we've promised Sweet P we'd build a bedroom in the basement, but one thing I've learned about home ownership is that there's always a choice between home renovation and vacation, and I'm always inclined toward vacation. It's been more than two years, and the basement is far from finished.

The longer we postponed the bedroom building, the more disgruntled our Sweet P became (even though she enjoys vacation as much as her mother).

We kept stewing in the idea of giving her our bedroom because it's spacious and has a door, but it's the master bedroom, with a master bath, and we are The Masters, right? Plus, we put all that work into decorating it.

But sibling relations came to a head one fateful night, and it became clear that if Sweet P did not have her own space none of us would make it out of this winter alive.

We set aside a whole weekend for the Great Bedroom Switcheroo during which Sweet P moved into our bedroom, we moved into Buckaroo's bedroom, and he moved into Sweet P's matchbox-sized bedroom, which meant clearing the furniture (including a beastly heavy and green antique couch) out of the porchy front room so there would be a place for Buckaroo's many trucks and trains-- so, yes, as Sweet P pointed out Buckaroo does have two rooms like Dudley Dursley.

While it was our idea, Honey Man and I went into the operation begrudgingly as our new, smaller, bedroom also has a dearth of walls and doors and no closet whatsoever, accessories we enjoy immensely, but despite our resistance we hoped that Sweet P might be blown off of her cranky pedestal by the kindness of our selfless act. Of course, that didn't happen. I suppose it's a challenge to feel loving kindness for people who are bestowing their favors most unwillingly.

Well, we made the move, and our backs are sore, but something crazy came out of it.  Our new bedroom is cozier than our old bedroom ever was, and because Buckaroo is just on the other side of the wall in his new bed-fort, he jumps into our bed at 3 a.m. with little to no fanfare, which is a major improvement of our nighttime routine.

Our new bedroom, including the wall hanging that formerly had no wall

The half-painted front room, which was a sore point between Honey Man and me because I could never decide whether or not I liked the shocking blue we chose, is now a cheery play area complemented by the brightness.

Now that Sweet P is tucked away in her new room the pressure is off to finish the basement, and we're going to focus our energy on the upstairs where we actually live now. So sensible. Setting aside a work weekend worked so well we're going to do it again and again and again.

I think I speak for myself and Honey Man when I say that, while we do mourn the loss of our bedroom door and closet, we feel more contended with our house than ever; we've been knocked out of our renovation stupor and can see the possibilities afresh.

The wall between our new bedroom and Buckaroo's
 No, Sweet P is not the blissed out teen we hoped she'd be post-move. She still harrumphs, rolls her eyes, and generally ignores us, but the bedroom switch did bring us all a dose of much-needed peace, and my fantasy is that one day, a long, long, time from now, Sweet P will be the parent of a thirteen-year-old girl, and O how the gratefulness will flow then, and we'll be waiting downriver.

Or maybe not. That's the rub.

In any case, we give, and the giving comes back to us in unexpected ways, so let that be enough.   


Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo for you guys!- I hope it does bring in new possibilities for you both and the kiddos! Love, Mom

LA said...

I love that you do new things and might feel like it's for one reason and all these new feelings and beginnings come forth. And who is this frog mama, I need to meet that wise one.

Suzanne said...

I like it -- your story, the wall hanging, and especially that sunny window. You've inspired me!