Sunday, January 13, 2008

What Will I Do With All The Rooms?

A friend and I were talking, not long ago, about our houses and how there are never enough rooms. Even if you have a spare room, it doesn't take long before it becomes filled with stuff and quickly is defined as the "cat room" or the "office" or the "computer room". I went on to tell her that it will be interesting when all the kids leave home - to have these rooms in the house to do with whatever we wish.

The only problem, in my case, is that I will be so old by the time my last child actually leaves home, that I will need - not an office or a craft room - but a therapy room. Come to think of it, I could use a therapy room right now!

I need a therapy room - now! I need there to be a soaking tub in this room and a massage table where my physical therapist can come daily and massage my aging body into shape. I also need a nice comfy couch whereupon I can lie when my psychotherapist attempts to massage my wrinkled mind into some semblance of sanity. It would be a multi-therapy room - a room for all therapy. It would be - my room.

No ... we don't have the space for a therapy room, nor do I have time for therapy right now. When the time comes, I'll probably have to do my own therapy. I'll sit pathetically in any of the vacant rooms of my house and talk to myself or maybe into a recorder ... so I will remember what I have said. I'll take notes and offer advice that I'd never actually take. And then I'll just slide my hunched back up and down on the edge of a door (like an old cat) to massage the tension away. Sometimes, I do that now.

When the day comes that I actually have all the rooms in the house for myself - these rooms now occupied with small people that look a lot like me, and all of their belongings ... I will not know what to do. I will not know what to do with the space or the silence. What will I do ... with all of the rooms?

One of my daughters said to me at dinner recently, "When we're all gone ... you're gonna miss us." I said, "You're gonna miss me too." And then I said, "I don't ever want that day to come ... the day when you all are gone."

And I meant it.

I don't need the rooms. I may be crazy some of the time and tired a lot of the time, but ... I don't need the rooms. I need the children ... to fill their space with their voices and music and crayons and toys and clothes on the floor. I need their sounds bouncing off the walls and their hand prints on the glass. I need their shoes lying on the floor and their feet tapping under the table. I need their toothbrushes on the counters and their towels on the floors. I need their whispers in the darkness, their laughter in the distance and their songs ... never to go silent.


On the upside ... there have been just enough rooms in our house. And, each of the rooms holds the memories that have given life to our home. They are solid and deep and lasting - the rooms and the memories. The rooms have held our lives ... the lives and memories of all of my precious children.

50 comments:

Cheeky said...

See we move enough this is not going to be a problem for me. Hubs and I have decided we are gonna buy ourselves a really cool condo somewhere.

Val Cox said...

so beautifully said!

Andrea said...

You just gave me GOOSEBUMPS!!

Sometime I think I can't wait until Les and I have the house all to ourselves...but I think when the time comes, I'll be singing a different tune.

ps: I high-fived you for a hoopla on my blog...

Holly said...

I've been gone from home for a lot of years, and my mom still finds things that are mine and sends it to me!

tommie said...

I can't fathom the time when the house will be ours again!

When I finally left for school, my mom made my room a sewing room!

Dawn said...

I need my kids around the house also. I can't bear to think of the day when my kids are gone. This was beautifully written. You have a habit of making me cry lately.:)

Laura said...

Totally glad to have found your blog! My twins are monoamniotic too. I look forward to exploring your blog more and learning more about older twins and what is ahead for me. Love this!

Are You Serious! said...

I love that you enjoy you kids. This was a sweet post.

Angela said...

Children sure do warm up a home

A Mom Two Boys said...

Have no fear! My Mother-In-Law just got "rid" of her last, after 26 years. She, too, felt that she'd never want them all gone, but she's really enjoying the peace & quiet. We're all still close by, though, so we keep dropping in to bug her on a regular basis!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I finally got around to updating my favorites list, so I'll be stopping by here more often!

Lucille said...

You have such a way of posting things that I am feeling at the same time!

My 6.5 year old is growing up so fast I can't handle it - so many times I look at her and think "what happened to that baby who sucked her thumb and had a baba and needed to be rocked in the middle of the night?" I miss her and then again I know I must let her be this wonderfully independent person.

Thanks for reminding me that the noises, the mess, the crazy days are so so precious.

Hugs....

Kathryn said...

Aren't you just the sweetest ever? What a gorgeous post! I was delighting in your description of the therapy room and then you get all sentimental on me and I end up teary eyed. Bah!
I am struggling with this too. My baby is nearing one year and the thought of him possibly being my last baby is depressing. What will I ever do in life that could possibly compare to this? I need these little buggers just as much as they need me.
Such a wonderful post, Kellan. Thank you!

Eileen said...

Such a sweet and beautiful post. Nothing could be more right, having this house full of my children (even when they drive me crazy) is what it is all about. I don't even like to think about what it will be like when they move out.
XOXOX

Amy said...

You speak the words of my heart. I pray that one day I will be able to fill more of our rooms with babies. Hopefully someday before I get too old. But if I can't birth them, I will adopt them, God willing.

Shellie said...

Ooooo! I like that! My house is going to go from deafeningly loud to deafeningly silent. And with the ages, pretty suddenly too. I wonder the same thing. Sometimes, I'd just like a happy medium.

bermudabluez said...

Oh how I cried when my daughter moved out. I can't even describe it to you. This was a beautiful post, Kellan. Very thought-provoking.

kim-d said...

I cried for two weeks straight after Tracy moved out. I did not realize it would be as hard as it was. But...it didn't take long for me to find the antidote, which can be summed up in one wonderful word. GRANDCHILDREN. Especially when you're not old enough to be a grandmother but you are anyway. Grandchildren are wonderful, and yours are going to be very, very fortunate, indeed!

Beth said...

What a great post! I guess you can use all spare rooms for the grandkids whenthey come to visit!

Pam said...

Well said! Hang onto those spare rooms when the kids are gone....they always fill up with holidays and grandkids and when they just need to come home again.

Of course- that therapy room- sounds awfully nice. So if you decide maybe you don't want them all home at once- ha ha ha- then go for that therapy room!

baby~amore' said...

just beautiful and priceless ...but kids aren't leaving home till their 30's these days.
I want my kids around the house also always (well I like a break from the teen and hsi friends).
I can't begin to imagine the day when my kids have left home. This was so beautifully written.

Amy said...

this is so true! whenever i start thinking of sometimes how messy or cluttered with kids stuff my house can sometimes be, i think someday it will be gone. then i'll miss it. so in the meantime, i'll just keep picking things up with a smile on my face!

One Scrappy Gal said...

I joke to my husband all the time that the children can live with me until they are well into their 30s. I don't want them to leave either. He gets a panicked look on his face. :)

Shireen Loh said...

Hmm...for the moment, the rooms in my house isn't all filled YET but soon I reckon, soon..tee hee

Hetha said...

Very sweet momma, you are. Listen, if you want, I can send my little guy out for a visit (for a few days, weeks, months, your pick!) after the youngest is moved out. If I were you, I just wouldn't even think about it yet. It's too heartbreaking.

Sheri said...

Don't worry, in their twenties and maybe even thirties, they will most likely take over your house again. lol

JO-N said...

What about babysitting your grandchildren? That would make your life occupied again when the time comes.

Melissa said...

If you have a spare room I can always drop off my little one ;)

Hope has been at grandma's overnight a and I was surprised to find just how much I miss her. She's growing up way to fast...

Shan said...

I live in the same house. Beautiful post, as always!

Family Adventure said...

Beautiful, Kellan. :)

Heidi

wheelsonthebus said...

Exactly. Too many empty rooms just need to be dusted.

Catizhere said...

I think we live in a parallel universe or something.

Last night after the baths, the kids are playing in the dining room. Joe & I are on the couch, listening. Smiling at the interaction. Will babbles something to Maggie & she replies to him, "Oh really? That's an "instra-resting conspect" Will." Will then cracks up like it was the funniest thing he's ever heard.
Joe looks at me & says, "I know they're only 4 & 1, but I can't remember what life was like without them." I say, "Me neither".

Jodi said...

it doesn't seem possible that they will ever leave or ever not need us like they need us now...

Bren said...

That second to last paragraph has me teary! Oh, I dread the day when mine leave the nest.

Em said...

Our house is massive by brit standards but i suspect that it minature compared to yours but i do like it been full and i remember everything about my house and love it!

jennwa said...

It makes me sad to think of the day my kids will be gone from my house. It will be too quiet and too clean.
That was a great post, that was very well said.I think a lot of us can relate.

carrie said...

I need a "time out" - just for me, not the kids.

Angie said...

My husband has not "lived" at home in 15 years. Nor have I. The rooms we once occupied as teenaged slobs - the same rooms that had carpet somewhere under the mess and obnoxiously loud music and "valley girl" telpehone conversations booming from them, are still called "Angie's room" and "Brian's room". Redecorated with visible flooring now, but still called "Brian's room" When my parents retired and moved away to a new town, we always stay in the same room. They don't call it "Angie's room", but I know they think it. It has some of my old dolls and photos adorning it.
KEEP BELIEVING

Amy said...

Such a sweet post! Yes I figure by the time my little one leaves the nest, my oldest will be bringing grandkids around. I'm not so much on the peace and quiet, it actually makes me sad now when they are all at school for the day. I did however turn my dining room into a library for me. (We are not formal eating people!) I say for me, they always meander in there as well, but it is definitely the "peaceful, theraputic" spot in our home!

Julie Pippert said...

How true and bittersweet.

Queen of My Domain said...

I am dreading the day when all our rooms are empty. I can't imagine how quiet my life will be then. I know things are so crazy for us now but I really do love it.

Kami said...

This is so true! I want to fill our house up with more little people just to delay the silence.

Although there are days when I crave some of that silence. Only for a second though....

R Family of 4 said...

This was a beautiful post Kellan. I fear the silence. Sometimes in the thick of the noise and the mess I wish it away but then I give my head a shake amd remember that one day it will be gone and I will wish it back. Thanks for reminding me agian how wonderful it all is.

pb&j in a bowl said...

That was a great post. Maddie was gone for 2 whole days (first overnight trip), this weekend, and my apartment felt so empty. I don't even want to think about when she moves out for good.

Shannon said...

So beautiful! I rarely think about my kids being gone because they are so little but that day will come and I don't want to wish that I had appreciated my time with them more. Thanks for that reminder! I'm with you, I would rather have a room full of life and love than a room full of stuff!

Dad said...

You did good, Kel

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Aww! That comment from your Dad is so sweet!

You know, I wonder the same thing myself, what will we do with all the room once the boys and all their bellongings are gone? At least we have some time before we have to cross that bridge, right? By then, maybe we'll be ready, who knows! :)

Lizzy

Jen said...

I have the feeling your house will rarely be quiet, even when all the kids aren't living there. They will be bringing grandbabies around! You ARE gonna need that therapy room, and you'll want to make one a playroom, and have one for the cribs. Don't worry - those rooms will fill up.

girlymom said...

Kellan- I love this!

I can truly relate- there are definately days where the constant chatter- foot tapping, messes everywhere are exhausting, but like you I dread the day my children are all grown and gone. This is actually one of the things I think about when Hubby and I discuss if we are "done" having children. I'll let you in on a little secret my fam doesn't know- I'm not done, I'm not sure I know yet when I will be done and in all honesty- I don't want to be done. I am ridiculed at family functions by the aunts or uncles (this has happened with multiple family members and functions) with one child because they couldn't "handle" more children- but I can take the ridicule- I am the one who goes home with my children that I love dearly- they live in a lonely empty house- that's sad to me. Thank you for the reminder of what it is all about.

Jen said...

I would really really love to have a room just to store all the little things that I want to have but want to have put away until I need them-craft supplies, games, office stuff...

We have an unfinished basement, so maybe someday I can have that and a therapy room.

Mo said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've told the girls repeatedly that they can live with me rent-free until they finish college. I don't want them to move out. I need people to take care of!

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