Sunday, June 19, 2016

Room changes and parental needs

It seems like every few years, we have to re-think things.  Sometimes it is the way we do things. Sometimes it is the way we use our spaces.  This year seems to be one for dealing with changes in how we use our space.  Rob and KC have shared a bedroom for a long time now.  And Rob has been incomparably gracious about this.  But it seems unfair to me for a 20 year old to share a room with a 12 year old space hog.  KC just has no compunctions about usurping space!  Right up to leaving things on his big brothers bed!

And then there is Rob's increased work schedule with many late nights and the occasional early morning.  It has been hard to make sure that the younger guy's sleep was not disturbed.  So the past few weeks have seen us decluttering so that Lissa could move into a small room previously used as storage.  KC moved into Lissa's old room and Rob has his own space. It has been a lot of work, but the end result has been worth it.  I think the shared space was good for a long time.  I don't really buy into the American concept that everyone needs to have their own private room. But given the age difference the schedule differences between the two, it seemed only right.

Now that the hard parts were done, we have done the "fun" stuff, which involved decorating.  I refused to pay for painting Lissa's room over for KC  It had been painted a pale blue several years ago and is in great shape.  Green is his favorite color though, but since the room DID need new curtains I ordered some nice ones that combine both blue and the green he loves.  We let him choose Star Wars wall clings to put on the room and are moving his knick knack shelf over which is also green.  He is very happy.

Lissa also was told no repainting to the space. Again, wall clings to the rescue. Here, she just blew me away with her sense of style. The walls had been sponge painted a variety of colors that give the small space a funky boho feel. She chose silvery filigree clings with faux gems to accent the swirls, black leafy branches with bright silvery flowers and black and white butterflies.  The effect is stunningly beautiful,and it will be a space that I think she will enjoy for years. It does not look like a little girls room, but definately reads a young lady lives here!

In the midst of all of this, my mom who lives two states away is beginning to feel less capable of living that far away.  In her mind, she thinks she might want to live with us.  I listen to her talk of her days--taking naps when she wants and needs to, orderly meals and I confess to feeling terror.  Sheer unabashed terror.  I love my mom.  And if she needs to live here, she can and she will. But I deeply worry that her need for order and quiet will be unable to be met here.  Long before kids, my mom lived with us and I know she is remembering back to long candlelit dinners where we sat and talked for hours.  A house that was sparkling clean, all.the.time.  Order reassures her.  My house is more along the line of a happy hurricane with occasional calm when one is in the proverbial eye of the hurricane.  It is normal for us and I am --we are--used to this. To try and adapt to this in mid 80's?  That could be really hard.  I also want her relationship with my kids to continue to be the positive experience that it has been.  My mom can be harsh. She sees my kids at their best, but if she lives here, it will be seeing them warts and all.  The things that I expect to deal with will shock her and anger her.

Sooooo..... I am also working on helping mom to apply for senior housing. This would be the best of all possible worlds. Though the apartments are very small she could still bring more belongings than she could if she moves in with us permanently.  Also the locations for the housing in our city are very close to our home and she could spend as much time with us as she wants, yet still leave when her need for quiet and order arise.  I know many people are dealing with aging parents.  Yet I haven't got friends doing that who are also balancing the needs of a younger family, so I am feeling my way along this new road without a lot of guidance and support.  Life's journey is always going to show something new to explore, I guess!

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