Friday, January 27, 2012

Do I Deserve A Room of My Own?

My 9 year old daughter still sleeps with me. My son slept with me until he was 9 and one of his sisters were born, her constant screaming ran him and his dad into the other room! That arrangement lasted til he was 14. Meantime, my other daughter was born and it looked like she might sleep in the crib that had gone through 2 children before her and was as yet, an unslept in bed. But that didn't last and then I had 2 of them in the bed with me until my oldest daughter was 10 1/2 and moved into the bed with her older brother, while my youngest slept with me. So, then last week, my 12 yr old decided she wanted to sleep in her room, yes her room that although neither daughter had ever slept in it, there it was across from my room and next to her brother's room, yellow walls, butterflies and all. So we moved the twin bed that had for the last 7 years been on the floor in my room, next to the kingsize bed, in case we all needed to sleep in the same room. You know, when my son was hunting or on the campaign trail and it was just us girls. Or the off night when the oldest daughter didn't feel well and needed to be in my room. There it was, both twin beds in the 'girls' room. Looking like a real room. My youngest daughter said she too wanted to sleep in her room and I thought "Holy Cow, I might sleep alone for the first time in 20 years!!" I might actually not get kicked all night or have my covers stolen by someone 6 inches shorter than me. I felt ambivalent. This would be strange. My girls would be alone in a room. They had never been alone in their life longer than it took to go to the bathroom, and this would be for 8 to 10 hours. I was getting nervous. What if one of them breathed wrong? Had a bad dream? Who would shake them gently to dislodge the dream? But bravely I kissed each one, turned on the nightlight and Adventures in Odyssey and went to my computer to check on my assignments. When I walked back there later, about a half hour or so, my youngest was safely ensconced in my bed, while her big brother was in the other twin bed with my oldest daughter in the room. I asked my youngest "Not ready to sleep in there yet?". She said "Not yet, maybe when I am 14." hahahaha! I asked my son, "Why are you in here with your sister?" His reply was what I expected "We don't have an alarm and I am not ready for either one of them to be alone yet". The case of Polly Klaus never is far from our thoughts, bless her soul.

 So we are relieved to both be within reaching distance, all night, of the most vulnerable in our home. And we are happy with this situation, it suits us. But then, tonight one of my girl friends told me, after I relayed all this information to her, "You deserve to have a bedroom all to yourself that you can go to at 9pm, and relax after the kids are in bed".  And I thought, "Wow, that would be nice, I could fold clothes and watch a movie, do school in the bed and not the office, walk on the treadmill now that there was a place for it in my room with the twin bed out of here.  Hmmmmm, I thought, yes I do deserve to have that." And I contemplated on that thought all the way home, which takes about 5 minutes. This is my conclusion:
   My children will leave me, and I will sleep alone all the rest of my life. I will watch many movies in my very own bed, and look over at the empty spot beside me or the treadmill where the other twin bed use to be and remember the sweetness of watching my little children rest in slumber, their slow breaths and gentle giggling that they sometimes do in their sleep, and I will cry for these sweet days. My bed will never be off limits to my children, because one day they will be too big to sleep with me. They will have little ones of their own in their own beds, and I will miss them. Terribly.

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