The first room we created for a child was our 6-year-old daughter’s nursery. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the rocking chair my husband had just built, listening to the comedy albums he was playing in the room as he put the crib together, the dressers, shelves, and lighting.
I stepped in to help with the decorations, photos on the walls, and together we made a beautiful tree that adorned the wall above her crib. In the tree’s branches was a large light-up sign that my husband made, and I painted. Our daughter’s name would glow in the night. It truly was a labor of love. A room that made you feel like you stepped into a baby-proof little jungle.
I think of the many times I rocked our daughter, and then later our son, in that chair, gazing at the tree outside the window, staring at all the pictures on the shelves and walls. Rocking and wondering how many other mothers were awake out there feeling exhausted but trying to take in every moment. I remember my husband singing “goodnight sweetheart” and playing the please-go-to-sleep playlist. Those walls spoke to me in soft whispers, a time when motherhood was so new and raw and I was trying to adjust to my new normal.
We have since moved from our first home and have established updated bedrooms for our growing children with new walls of memories.
I enjoy going into my children’s rooms throughout the day, helping them learn to pick up after themselves, observing adventures and sometimes joining in. Their rooms look much different from their nursery days. One filled with a train bed, shades of royal blue and hunter green, trains and trucks, plastic turtles and dinos. The other room with bunk beds, purple chalkable walls, dolls, play makeup kits, and stuffed animals galore.
In these two rooms, imaginations run wild and we encourage that in our home. It is a place where pirates hunt treasure, the train delivers coal, and the girls give their brother a makeover while he is holding one of the “crying” babies and working on his truck. In these walls, you can be anything you set your mind to. The giggles and laughter I hope will be embedded in my brain for all of eternity.
As I was doing my evening walkthrough of their rooms tonight, picking up and putting away items that had gotten left behind, I could not help but imagine how these rooms will go through transformations in the coming years. It is hard to picture a day when Tommy’s interests move from trucks and trains, and when he no longer yells out to his sisters to come play or runs in their room to see what adventure they are going on next. When the girls put away their dolls one last time and they are no longer interested in playing vet or doctor. When our youngest son and newborn grows and gone are our final days with having young children.
I don’t know what the walls will say to me in the middle school years or the teen years. I know there will be joys just as I know there will be challenges. But I also know that if these walls could talk right now, they would speak of love, adventure, joy, forgiveness, and family. No matter if the paint color changes and none of the old remains, I hope the walls still speak the same.