A Room… A Memory….A Blessing
As our youngest son headed upstairs this past weekend toward his room for the first time in several months, I had to admit to him that he needed to sleep in “his brother’s room” during this visit. Even though he hasn’t really lived in his room for several years now, I actually felt a bit guilty that he couldn’t sleep in the room that he had slept in for so many years. Truth was, we had recently carpeted the upstairs and just hadn’t gotten his room put back together yet. His box springs had deteriorated and had ended up in the garbage. In addition, our grandson’s crib now takes up a large portion of the space in the room where he spent his childhood.
This experience brought back to mind all of those feelings that I had when the boys began to move out and live on their own. Should we keep their rooms the same, so they always had a familiar place to come home to? Should we completely change them, realizing that things would never really be the same again anyway? No matter what we decided to do with their rooms, the important thing was that we wanted them to feel like they are welcome in our home at all times and will always have a place here.
Over time, their rooms have gradually evolved into areas that seem to make the best use of our living space. All of our boys’ rooms still have beds in them so they can double as guest rooms. But they have also been repurposed to meet other needs as well. One of them houses my husband’s guitars – all of them – as well as some office space for him to use for music and work. Another one is pretty much our “guest room,” which we try to keep at the ready for anyone who might need to spend the night. And now the third doubles as a nursery when the grandbabies are here.
A dear friend of mine admitted to me that when her last daughter moved out, she could hardly even walk by her room without crying. It represented her baby girl, and was a constant reminder that she was all grown up now. In their case, they decided to completely re-decorate the entire room and start fresh to make the emotional separation a bit easier. Another friend took the opportunity to turn a bedroom into a crafting room, where she spends hours enjoying her favorite hobbies. I have friends who have kept the rooms exactly the same, almost as shrines. And others who just can’t wait to take over their child’s rooms for various purposes.
Regardless of what we decide to do with the space that is left when our children move out, we can use it to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. Whether we make guest rooms, offices, nurseries or craft rooms, it is a blessing to have space to put to good use. It is also a blessing that our children want to come home to visit and spend time with us, no matter what happens to their bedrooms. And if we’re honest, there is some comfort in knowing that someday our children might be making these very same decisions.