When I arrived at my parents’ house on Monday, we let Elizabeth familiarize herself with the house while we got settled. Ben and I are sleeping in my old room, of course. The reality, though, is that it looks nothing like the room I grew up in.
Gone are the pink, then white, then blue walls, now a soft taupe leading up to an ivory ceiling. the bookshelves, the desk, the stereo, the shrine to boy bands on the corner shelves by the window. Gone is the window unit air conditioner, inserted and cemented into a cutout in the wall; the entire house is central air’ed now. The windows o the north and east wall are smaller, fewer. The closet contains my mother’s clothes and shoes (both of which far outstrip my own collections, I am fairly sure; the shoes, I am CERTAIN!). The furniture is all different and only a few years new (the bed is a thing of beauty and comfort from top to bottom). The dresser holds my mother’s clothing and several collections of knickknacks and crafty stuffs. Only one drawer contains a few articles of clothing of mine from my teenage/college years that either my mother could not bear to throw out, as they were my staples for around the house, or that she has kept on just in case I should ever desire or need to wear them again. As a matter of fact, I am wearing a pair of pj pants from that particular dresser right now.
In the corner is a pile of stuff that includes hand-me-downs for Elizabeth, craft supplies of my mom’s, a photo poster of Elizabeth to be framed and hung somewhere (and she always finds the room), and seasonal decor/gift items. There are few, if any, vestiges left of what made this room my room for 13 years. And yet…I don’t mind.
I don’t mourn the changing of this room, the changing of the entire house since I’ve been gone and married these almost eight years. It has been improved and redecorated from top to bottom inside and I think it’s great. The house is beautiful and clean and excellently-cared-for and I envy my parents that. I hope that I can do such wonderful things with my own home some day.
So it’s not my bedroom, technically. It’s the guest room (and mom’s work room) but I still find myself comfortable and safe in its space. I miss my own home, for sure, but no amount of change will ever cause me to forget that this is my home, too.