When I was a little girl, I often spent part of my summer away from my mom, visiting family across the country. To be quite honest, I’m not really sure why I was sent off, as my mom was a teacher, and had summer vacation. In a way, it was the poor man’s summer camp, I suppose. I got to enjoy the cooler climate of suburban Chicago, rather than being shut indoors in Arizona. Plus, as an only child I loved being around all my cousins. And I can certainly appreciate her needing the break, being a teaching, single mom. At the time, it felt like I was gone forever, but of course it was probably only for a couple of weeks, or less.
I will never forgot returning one year to find that my room had been completely redone. Nursery wall paper stripped, new bed in place, and a wall of built-in shelves with a child sized desk had been set up. The first thing that came to mind was the “Berenstain Bear’s Mess Room”, where Mama Bear organises the little bears room, complete with labeled tubs and custom-made toy boxes. The original ‘before and after’ of home design. As a child, coming into this new room of mine, and knowing that I had been so loved even in my absence, meant the world to me. I doubt I kept it pristine for long, but I do recall that feeling of satisfaction in my play of everything having a place and purpose.
This summer when on my own, while Coralie was enjoying the end of her holiday back in France, I too spent my evenings working away in her room. Luckily, for my mom, her refit was decades before Pinterest pressures, and our modern-day needs of perfection. Still, even though her room feel far from done to me, it was a major reveal for her. I repainted a second-hand bed, added some artwork to the walls, and put up an art corner, with a simple array of art supplies at the ready. It has been such a pleasure watching her enjoying the newly organised space.
This Sunday morning, she started the day out moaning that she wanted to watch a movie. My first suggestion was to go play outside with Barney, our island lab. This suggestion was not very well received. Secondly, I reminded her that I put paints out on her shelf in her room. That was it, and she was off. She spent the rest of morning in her room happily creating. I will slowly add to this spot, maybe even one day with some sewing supplies! But for now, just a few tubs of crayons, markers, and pencils, along with some paints, glue and glitter is enough to keep her going. And maybe one day, when it finally feels ‘done’ to me, I’ll properly share it here as well!