Yesterday afternoon, while my husband and I were hemming and hawing over the placement of her furniture, our daughter wandered upstairs, sneaking up on us, and peered into her new bedroom for the first time. It’s not finished yet (half of her stuff is still hiding away in the guest room, and we haven’t got any of her new wall decorations up yet), but she seemed quite excited. She pranced around the room for a while, snuggled up with her “Twilight Sparkle” blanket (it’s totally just a purple blanket, but whatever she wants to think, right?), and overall just seemed happy with it.
It got me thinking about my different rooms when I was younger. I had three different ones, even though we always lived in the same house, and each of them was very me.
The first room that I had was the logical room for the baby, before my parents’ house was renovated in any way. It was in the back corner of the house, across the hall from my parent’s room. It was, as far as I can remember, a perfect square, and the walls were painted a very light pink. I believe I remember that there was a flowery border around the center of the room as well…pink roses, I think. Obviously I can’t remember back as far as when I was in a crib, but I do remember my big-girl bed, a white deal with drawers in the bottom and a headboard that allowed me to keep some of my favorite books beside me at all times. I also had a little double crib in that room for my baby dolls…not a toy, and not the real deal, but one of those miniature display models you see at the store when they don’t have the room to put up one of the full models. I don’t recall who got it from the store for me, but it was pretty damn awesome because I loved my dolls, and it was the perfect thing to keep them in. I don’t recall a whole lot more about that room, except for little flashes of additions (my first TV, my first “boom box”, my first Nintendo system), and eventually I moved on to…
My second room was the one that was adjacent my parents’ room, and across the hall from the bathroom. This room was illogical for a child’s bedroom because of the shape and the size (it was much smaller than my old one), but I can remember insisting that I wanted to move in there. The embarrassing thing is, thinking back, I think the only reason I wanted to move into that room was so that I would get to have decorations in my window during the holidays. Kids are dumb sometimes. But for better or worse, I moved into that room. A lot of the space was taken up by the closet, which jutted out at the front of the room near the door. The space created between the side of the closet and the window wall of the room was where I jammed my bed, and everything else logically had to go on the opposite wall. I actually quite liked the layout because at the time I had about a million stuffed animals that I loved and had given names to, and with the way my bed was crammed into that spot I could have all of them on there with me without any chance of them falling off. It was a bit silly, to be sure…the stuffies took up more room on that bed than I did…but I loved it. Later on in that room I completely negated the use of the closet by building myself a dollhouse in there. I’d never had a dollhouse, but at the time I was too old to not sound weird if I asked for one, so I made my own by building furniture out of cardboard boxes and the like, and making all kinds of little stuff like magazines and the like with paper and crayons. It was mind-blowingly immature, but sometimes mind-blowingly immature stuff is what keeps us happy. I like to think that that homemade dollhouse was an important moment in my creative life.
After some time in the small room I actually moved back to the bigger room, which was mostly the same except that now I was older so I started papering the walls with posters of my favorite bands and actors, and since I was doing a lot of drawing at this time in my life, there was a lot of that as well.
I don’t remember when, how, or why I brought up the idea of me moving into the basement (knowing me, I probably read it in a book), but several months after I first brought up the idea, my parents sold their pool table (which didn’t really ever get used), carpeted the main room of the basement, built a wardrobe/shelf/desk combo, and moved me down there. It was more like a small apartment rather than a bedroom, really, it was so big. The desk combo and my bed were down in in the smaller section, and in the bigger section there was a love seat and the TV and games, and a kitchen table (of all things) on which I would do puzzles and models and the like. I didn’t even have to go upstairs to go to the bathroom, since there was a toilet in the basement. It was really quite ridiculous for a teenager, but I loved it and in the end my parents loved it as well because it allowed them to start renovating upstairs (by way of knocking out walls to make the important rooms bigger). The poster-papering continued down here, and I hold that I probably had the most ridiculously dark room in teenage history because of all the black that wound up on my walls.
I don’t know why I felt the urge to write this post. Maybe I just like talking about my childhood, or maybe I was just struggling for something to write about. Either way, thinking about my various bedrooms allowed me to remember how important it was for me, growing up, to have a space that was my own, that I could decorate the way I wanted, my own special sanctuary, and I hope that my daughter grows up feeling the same way about her room.