With T at his grandparents, I decided to take the time to clean up his bedroom. The problem I find with his room is that it’s less of a bedroom, and more of playroom.
When T was first born, we lived in a one bedroom apartment. T’s crib was just across the room from our bed. I fixated on him not having his own room. There was no nursery to set up, to decorate, to “nest” in. When he was about a year and half, we moved into the two-bedroom condo I still live in today. Before all the furniture was put in place and the boxes unpacked, we painted T’s bedroom. Light blue on top, dark blue on bottom, with comic book cover wallpaper border through the middle – for my little superhero. It was simple, but it was a place for him. He was surrounded by all the superheroes he loves so much.
When his dad moved out the first time, T started sharing my bed. For a while it was just a few times a week. By the time he was 3.5, it was every night. A friend needed a crib for her little one, so I sold her T’s. My plan was to buy him a race car bed, in hopes that he might start spending a few nights in his own room again.
Never happened. The money was never there to buy a race car bed. And I didn’t want to buy him just any toddler bed. I wanted – still want – something special for him.
And then his dad moved out again – for good this time. I find comfort and security having T in bed with me. There is a futon in his room, should he ever choose to sleep alone, but he shows no signs thus far.
So now his bedroom, his space that I wanted him to have so bad, is not a bedroom but a playroom. Or a giant toy storage unit. His kitchen stocked with play food, bookshelf stuffed with books, toys spilling out of the toy organizer I had to save up for. His room is full. He’s even running out of room to play in there, so I end up with toys strewn all over the house, because the living room and my bedroom have plenty of open floor space.
Plus, he’s with grandparents for a week and a half, so I’m sure he’s coming back with more toys.
And so, I am sitting here cleaning out his room and separating out the toys he no longer plays with. The broken will be thrown away and the ones that have simply been outgrown will be donated or passed on to friends with younger children.
I clear out the ones he no longer plays with, and find homes for the newer ones. I picture his small hands playing with each of these toys, holding them as if they are the greatest thing ever. I am nostalgic for each one, remembering who gave it to him and for what occasion (if it was a specific one). But I am not clinging to those joyful memories. I enjoy them, and then I am left with a feeling of wonder.
Which toys will be the next to be abandoned?
What toys will replace them?
Who is my little monster growing to be?
I try and enjoy him, as he is, right now. I do not dwell on who he was, but I do get lost in just wondering what he’ll be like in 5, 10, 20 years.
Will he always love and admire superheroes?
Will he always enjoy dressing in superhero costumes?
Will the child’s play doctor kit be replaced with one with a real stethoscope?
Will he have another tool box one day, except this one won’t have Handy Manny’s face on it?
How much longer is he going to want me to be his number 1 playmate?
He’s growing up, growing older.
It doesn’t make me feel any older, since I always feel so young anyway. But it does make me a little wistful. One of these days he’ll outgrow all of these toys, all of these clothes, this small bedroom.
I just hope he doesn’t outgrow me.
|Photo sent to me from my dad.
The Thor shield & sword are new toys.
|Taken before we left on vacation.
I’m in love with all his goofy smiles.