THE GIRL NEEDS HER VILLAGE

by Lisa

Skip ahead.  Tattooing stories (and there are a few good ones) can wait.

I intend to pull a fast on on the daughter.  This won’t be easy.  I have my limitations, one of which is difficulty in lifting mattresses, and boy, is my mattress heavy.

Her room is the small one, of course.  That’s where the kid goes when a new house happens.  This time, it’s different.  I’ve had that huge bedroom, by my standards, for almost a year.  She has a little bright room at the back of the house.

She “entertains”.  I don’t, at least, not in my bedroom.  My bedroom is the stash zone, where baskets of clean laundry live until I get around to putting things away, where bags destined for Goodwill hide in plain sight until I remember to put them into the trunk of the car, where art supplies and suitcases full of yarn and fabric stand, waiting my attention.  No dresser–that is the TV stand in the front room.  Bookshelves, a chair piled with I DON’T KNOW WHAT, and a library table cum desk.  Gosh, I like that table.  It was an estate sale splurge, with wildly turned legs and glass balls with iron paws for feet.  I’m a sucker for real furniture, and it fit my refurnishing budget, AND it was the last day of the sale, so HALF PRICE! So many reasons to like that table.

What was I talking about?

So, we are switching rooms, but she doesn’t know it yet.  She suggested it a month ago, and I delayed answering.  Within twenty-four hours, my mind was made up.  I sleep in my room, and make lazy messes in it.  She plays in hers, with sometimes four other friends.  She doesn’t have that many toys, but they can’t be played with properly in the small space.  Plastic villages spring up on her floor, and she can’t get to her bed without becoming a reluctant Godzilla.

When we moved to this cottage, our refuge and sanctuary, I vowed to keep it pretty for both of us.  I’ve held up that vow, except for my personal space.  My bedroom has been a terrible mess my whole life.  What is wrong with me, that I can’t keep it clean for more than a few days?  Why do I sleep with clean laundry piled at the foot of my bed, with books and papers and trays scattered anywhere I won’t (hopefully) kick them off?  The dirty laundry goes directly to the floor next to my side of the bed if I don’t shower right before I turn in.  The bathroom stays clean, of course.  Other people see the bathroom.

I will restrict my space.  If the mess piles up to my ears, well, I’ll keep sleeping in the mess and bring it up in therapy.  Thunder can have her room to move.  All I do in my room is sleep.

The transformation begins this evening, as soon as she goes to her daddy’s.  The beginning is really just a thorough culling of crap from my bedroom while she is at school.  I’ve already cleared a bookshelf for her, and those books are living not in my room, but the front room, where I can’t forget about them.  Last time I cleaned, it took me forty minutes.  This time will be less, because the books are gone and the laundry is gone. When she gets home from school, we will celebrate MY clean room, which she appreciates.  She abhors the mess.  The big reveal will happen on Friday morning before the bus.

I love surprises for that lovely little person, even when they mean I might throw my back out at ten tonight.

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