I’ve spent the past few days going through old toys, old clothes, and old memories. While a lot of us tackle a round of spring cleaning, I find that taking down the holiday decorations often leads to an early plunge into organizing a year’s worth of clutter.
And believe me, I have two young children, a dog, a cat, and am a bit of a pack rat myself—there is ALWAYS clutter.
But this January, I have a purpose beyond finding all the loose Christmas ornaments and storing them away. My daughter turns in ten in February. She wants a big girl room. That’s going to take a little preparation.
I am not ready.
I have a milestone birthday of my own coming up this year, but I’ve never really felt the pressure from my own anniversaries on this Earth. But ten? My baby? When did this happen?
I need to take down her old bunk bed with the slide. She thought it was the coolest thing ever…when she was three. Now? “Come on, Mom! That’s little kid stuff.”
She wants bold, colorful wallpaper on one wall. Not the unicorn wall stickers that have been up there since she was seven.
She wants her closet organized. Her closet! When has she ever cared about her closet before?
The Powerpuff Girl posters? They have to go. Maybe a few posters of her favorite YouTube stars or singers. And boys!
I remember reading TeenBop magazine and keeping posters of my favorite actors, of course, but somehow, when I’m looking at my own little girls, I’m always going to see pigtails, gap-toothed smiles, and footie pajamas.
Well, life is all about change, and window shopping online with my soon to be ten-year-old is way more enjoyable than I expected. She likes looking at bedding, at furniture, at throw rugs. She likes looking at craft organizers, desks, and shelving units. It’s possible that the hours of HGTV shows running through the background of playdates, dance contests, and art time has turned her into an amateur designer.
“I want my room to be cool,” she told me this past week. “I want it to be a fun place to go, to read and write and make Minecraft houses.”
In short, she wants her room to inspire her. I can get behind that, even if it includes boy band posters. And it made me think, as I looked around my home, if it was “cool”…at least by my standards.
One of my resolutions this year is to write a book. Probably not the great American novel, maybe just a short story. But something. That milestone birthday I mentioned? Maybe I am feeling it a little bit, and I’ve loved the idea of writing stories since I was little. One of my birthday presents when I was ten was a typewriter. I spent HOURS on that thing.
So as I looked around, I wondered if I was building a home that inspired me to make that part of my story happen. And I noticed the smudges on the walls, the crooked pictures, the slightly uneven curtain rods. It certainly isn’t anything that will show up on HGTV anytime soon, except for maybe in the first 5 minutes of the show before the demolition crew arrives.
But those smudges? I can at least guess at a lot of them. My youngest, a little artist in the making, often has brightly colored fingers. I remember hanging those pictures with my dad, and putting together the tv stand beside them. The curtains? Not quite as sentimental, but I’ll lay the blame directly on the cat.
I suppose my home is a bigger version of my daughter’s room—full of memories, some possible outdated décor, and maybe needing a few updates. After February, I might look at making some of those happen. But until then, I’m happy to take my inspiration from my family and my memories, crooked pictures and all.
Thanks for spending some time with me today - I’ll be back next week with the first installment of a 4-part story. Until then, from First Farmers Bank & Trust, I’m Jess, and I’m listening.
Do you have a story to share? Visit www.ffbt.com/cicero to get in touch with Jessica. She can’t wait to hear from you!