Saturday, May 19, 2012

Guest Bedroom Makeover

My beach house has a fairly typical layout for the cape cod style beach houses that were built in the 1940's and 50's. Most of them have a staircase that leads to a second floor that originally was wide open. Families would put several twin beds up there and the kids and their friends would take that floor. Over time walls were put up and perhaps a closet. Ours was no different. While there are technically two bedrooms on the second floor, neither of them have a door. You reach the top of the steps and go left or right. Many years ago, when I had the rooms painted, we decided to paint them both in Disney colors so that Maddie could use one side for her bedroom and the other for a playroom.

About four years ago, at thirteen, she felt the need to paint her side a little more sophisticated and chose a pale grey with black trim. We decided recently to repaint both sides and brighten it up some. We did her room first and she is using a pale teal or aqua as an accent color. The room is a light sand color, Behr Paint "Oyster" and the trim is a pale cream, almost white. It's very nice but I'm not allowed to post any photos of it.

The other room had become a place for storage over the last several years and still had the Disney paint - a pale green called Tinkerbell and a lavendar that I can't remember the name of. Last year we had a hurricane and needed to evacuate. Although my brother and his wife have no children living with them, they have two spare bedrooms and welcomed us to stay with them for a few days. After we returned home, I vowed to redo that spare room so that if ever we had friends in need, they would have a comfortable room to come to. 

Making changes to the house has been so much easier of late. The man in my life is extremely handy and seems to never tire of doing things for me around the house. In the beginning of our relationship he heard me lamenting that I had very little storage space and took it upon himself to lay plywood in the attic space so that I could store things under the eaves. It is amazing how much space that created. I have all the Christmas stuff on one side with room to spare and have barely begun to start putting things on the other side. Maddie and I put a coat of primer on the walls in her room and he took over from there, completing her room. And this last weekend I helped while he did the bulk of the spare room. There is still a bit to do in there, so I'm not going to reveal the room yet, but I will give you a taste of what it looked like before we got started and in a couple of weeks will have the room complete for posting photos.

 I'll give you a little hint about what's going to be in the new room. The bed that you see with the taupe and cream seashell quilt will be part of the room. And this beautiful, aged, salmon dresser will be in the room too. I'm so excited - working on throw pillows for the bed and a few other touches. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day #17

Before my daughter put gas in her car today, I asked her to make note of how many miles were on the trip odometer. 262. In just over a week, the car has gone 262 miles. Couple that with perhaps another 250 miles that she has driven my car without me in it, and she's driven a little over 500 miles on her own. When she gets ready to leave where ever she has gone, she calls me and says she's on her way home. Each time that phone rings and I see her number, for a moment I panic that I might pick up the phone and hear her sobbing on the other end, "Mommy?"

In the last year, since she first got her learner's permit and then her full license, I have come to realize that the only way a mother survives the years of raising her children is to completely live in denial. Denial that every time you turn away someone might snatch them. Denial that every time they walk out the door, it might be the last time you see them. And we must be tough. Tough when they do something foolish and have to face the consequences. Tough when they are hurt and you can't let them see how terrified you are about that deep cut or that finger that is bent in an odd position.

Being a mother has required so much more of me than I initially thought. It's certainly not for cowards, although we come across our fair share of them. The ones who care more about being their child's friend than their parent. The ones who do science projects for them. The ones who refuse to believe that their child could do something wrong.

Recently, I saw the movie Soul Surfer about Bethany Hamilton, the teenaged surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. When I came home I asked Maddie, "How could you say that's one of your favorite movies? That was terrible!" And I told her, "If I stopped to think about the things that could happen to you every time you walk out that door, you'd never go anywhere!" I was actually sobbing about watching this family go through this terrible event. And my sweet daughter hugged me and assured me that she wasn't going to be eaten by a shark. I suspect she was mocking me, but I was grateful for the hug.

On Sunday, I will enjoy my 17th Mother's Day. In spite of the dangers that lurk behind every single corner, I honestly wouldn't change one moment of it. Being a mom has been the most joyful and rewarding "job" I've ever had. Being a mom has made me a better person. And most importantly, I have spent 17 years being the mother of a fantastic and smart and funny and beautiful girl. I have been blessed by God beyond my wildest imagination.