Three days ago, I told you that it was on my calendar to re-do Lizzie’s room. I wasn’t excited about it because I was tired and had just spent two weeks remodeling the salon. Her room was pink though, because she and Skyler traded rooms a few years ago. Lizzie didn’t love the pink that Skyler out-grew, but the room was bigger, so she traded. Well, after spending a few minutes saying I was just going to take the weekend for myself, then doing rock-paper-scissors over the situation, then flipping a coin, I got up and just got going on it, which was exactly what I knew I was going to do. I just had to go about it this way so I could feel better about giving up my free time for my kids… AGAIN. Reason 4, 209 of why not to have kids, Castor.
So, I spent Sunday packing up all of Lizzie’s belongings into boxes. It’s been nearly five years since her room has been cleaned out by our maid and let me tell you. Kids collect stuff! I recently, knowing I had this day in the works, had Lizzie go through every nook and cranny of her room, getting rid of stuff she didn’t want anymore. It’s a hard thing, when you’ve lived the childhood she has lived, to want to part with anything. When you haven’t had security OR stuff, it becomes very important to you. I explained to her that she is nearly 15 now and that the things she loved when she was 10 probably are not the things she loves now, so it’s okay to let them go. We are designed to have our interests change. We don’t have to hang on to everything forever.
She did pretty good, getting a big box of stuff to get rid of, a small box of stuff for the attic, stuff she loves, but doesn’t want in her room anymore and clearing the broken & used up into the trash. However, kids never clean like moms clean. After loading everything into boxes, I got my hubbies help with moving out the big stuff and moving her bed the center of the room. Then I had to do all of the prep work for painting, which, honestly, takes twice as long as the painting itself. Wiping molding and walls, removing outlet covers, spackling, taping. Ugh. Taping. Finally, it was ready for paint, but now it was past my bedtime. Everyone else was in their beds.
Monday was spent painting. Of course the trim needed done and of course everything needed two coats. Of course I have popcorn ceilings, which makes painting the top edge super fun. When I first started painting, I was scared because the new color looked horrible next to the old color. Like really bad horrible. But once I got a corner done, and the paint had dried, I knew it was going to work well with the bedding I had gotten. Yay! Now if magic painting fairies could just come finish the rest. Have you ever noticed how exciting it is to paint the first coat of paint when it’s a new color, but after the first coat, you are just kind of over painting? Yeah, me either. I seriously have to force myself to do a second coat. ‘It’s good enough’ keeps repeating over and over in my head. Sometimes I wish I could just give in and listen to that little voice, but it is getting two coats, or I am running out of paint. One way or the other.
As I was up on a step stool, carefully painting around all of the adorable little popcorn bumps, I saw evidence of the last 19 years of living in our house. When the room was dark blue and originally Brett’s, then a lighter neutral when it was turned into a play room and the kids shared a room for a while. Then the pink of Skyler’s room. All layered one on top of the other, with little spots where someone has slipped and gotten paint on the ceiling or on the window frame. It got me thinking about how, for years, I was just like these layers of paint. Always putting another layer on to try to look or feel different. Trying to make people like me, love me, want to be around me. Trying to make ME love me. But, as you know if you’ve ever just reapplied fresh makeup over the top of yesterday’s application, (not that I’m confessing!) the second layer is never a good as the first was. The third is even worse. Pretty soon, you end up looking like a Tammy Faye who should probably just take a shower and start fresh.
I’ve learned that God wants me to be more like an onion than a coat of paint. He’d rather I peel away layer after layer and get to what’s real. What is most like Him. Let go of all of the pretense, and insecurity and protection and just be who He made me to be. I think God can handle my imperfections, I don’t have to put a coat of paint on them. He’s good like that. He already knows who I am, so I’m certainly not fooling Him by putting on a different front. There’s comfort in that. In getting to be who you are. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner.
ANYwho… Finally the paint is done and I can move all the big stuff in. I picked up a new desk, dresser and mirror online, so figuring out how to arrange her room took a few minutes, but once the furniture was in place and the big stuff was moved in, it was bedtime again. Day three was spent going through every last item in the boxes that I had packed up.
The beauty about going through y our kids’ stuff when they are not there to ‘help’ is that you get to make the executive decision, which I am really really good at. I managed to weed out a big bag of recycling, a bag of garbage, a box of memorabilia that will go in the attic and a bunch of stuff that I am selling/donating. I just have to get rid of it before she gets home to protest!
The bad part of going through your kids’ stuff when they are not there to ‘help’ is that you see some things you wish you hadn’t seen. All in the form of mind-numbing notes to/from friends and crap they write in the middle of their school notebooks. Ugh. One thing that is glaringly obvious is that someone needs to teach that kid to spell. I mean, if she’s going to write ridiculous things for the world to see, she may as well spell the words correctly. Don’t try to tell me that the ‘world’ was not supposed to see what she wrote. Her room is kind of like the internet. If you put it out there (or down on paper), you have to expect it’s going to get seen. After all, you’ve got siblings, and a mother. My favorite was a little tiny piece of paper that said, “Don’t read unless your Lizzie”. Complete with improper use of ‘your’. Of course I read it, and guess what? Lizzie loves Peeta. Again. Dry heaving commencing shortly.
Anyway, the room is done and waiting for her arrival Tuesday. I still have to post all of the discards of her room online for sale and get some stuff into the attic. I haven’t cooked a meal in three days and my house needs cleaning. I’m excited that she is going to have her own space that is all hers, and not the discards of her older sister and hope she’s excited too. Of course, I fully expect that she might question where some things are that didn’t make the cut, but I think overall, she’ll be happy with the results.