After thirteen years, one month and twenty-two days together, my two boys will not be sleeping in the same room tonight. (I am not counting the thirty-five weeks they spent in the kiddie pool of amniotic fluid in Bonnie’s stomach. I am also not counting the ten days Dylan spent in the NICU after he was born.) Suffice to say; along with the boys becoming teenagers, a switch was flipped that required some more…personal space.
There is nothing worse for a parent than not being able to come up with a reason to not allow something. “You have a perfectly good bike.” “We don’t need chocolate AND vanilla ice cream.” Even the parental fall back, “because I said so.” None of these were going to work. And to be truthful, Bonnie and I begrudgingly understood it. After all, we have a spare room inhabited only by the remaining gerbil. (Blackjack, the gerbil would be moved to the “computer” room. Does anyone else have names for rooms based upon contents and not function? The spare room has alternately been called “the gerbil room” and the “PS2 room” because the old Play Station game system lives there.)
The biggest challenge would be deconstructing the bunk beds – bought to be two single beds specifically for this inevitable occasion. I found an allen wrench that fit and Dylan and I took the bunks apart without anyone being crushed and me uttering not one single swear word. Once we moved the futon (bought from Ikea that came in a container as large as a shoe box holding enough wood to build an arc) and the antique armoire (not very fashion forward for a 13 year old) from the spare room, all that was left was to negotiate the bed and a desk to its new quarters.
The boys have been busy redecorating their new living spaces – Dylan in another room and Chris adjusting to life with a bed without a top. Posters are being re-hung and the futon has a new home in Chris’ room.
After college, I moved four times in six years - two apartments, an apartment with Bonnie and then our first house. Each time I moved a new chapter was starting for me (admittedly, I moved to my second apartment only because it had a balcony – but you get the idea.) For thirteen plus years, we have always said, “the boy’s room.” But as minor as this may seem, it is not lost on me that my kids are starting a new chapter. Today, it is a new space; someday it will be a new place.
And this is all as it should be. Cribs and bunk beds, or sharing a room – it’s all just furniture and location. The rooms will always be there, but the names will change; “the boys room,” “Chris’ room,” and eventually “Dylan’s old room.” But the names that stick, like Dylan, Chris, mom and dad…they can live anywhere.