It’s been a busy and productive spring break, one met with some mixed emotions.
Our 20-year-old son has decided to stay up in Boulder in an apartment with a friend for the summer. He recently changed the direction of his career focus from secondary education to university advisement. He’s really loved being an RA in the dorm, and after attending a conference on the opportunities—all the way from managing dorms to becoming a college dean, he’s decided to go that direction with his masters. In following that path, he’ll be staying at school during the summer between his junior and senior years to help with the residence halls and other events during orientation. In short, he’s pretty much officially out of the nest. He’ll be staying at home for Christmas; he spends a night or two at Thanksgiving (otherwise he works at the dorm for extra money); and he comes home to attend a couple of gaming conventions with his dad in the fall and winter, but that’s it.
So I decided it was time to give myself something I’ve wanted for a long time: an office. My son and I spent Friday and Saturday of last weekend purging his room—really purging it, since what he did before he went to college didn’t really count. Now, everything he owns is either with him at school or it fits in the closet of what was his bedroom. I was a little worried he’d feel like he was being “kicked out,” but it was clear that he’s considered himself out for quite awhile. I was a little surprised at how dispassionate he was, tossing things out or giving them to charity with relative ease, but it just made it all the more clear how much he’s left childhood behind. It simply isn’t relevant to him anymore. Really, I think the whole process was harder for me than it was for him. Actually, I know it was.
But on Saturday night I listed his bed, dresser, and desk on Craigslist. By Sunday morning, the first two items were gone. (The desk ended up being a giveaway.) Then I went out and bought a new futon with a light blue cover that was to be delivered on Thursday. (After all, we still want our son to have a place to sleep when he is home, and the upgrade from twin to full will be more conducive to visits when he has a significant other in his life.) In between the order and the scheduled delivery, I painted the walls a pale sage green, hung a new valance and blinds, and moved the French Provincial desk that has been hogging space in our bedroom into the office. I bought a pretty metal bookshelf that looks inspired by wrought iron balconies in New Orleans. My daughter and I took up silk flower arranging, and I filled a lead crystal vase that had been my great-grandmother’s to display on a shelf instead of gathering dust, unused, in the dining room. To my surprise, the futon arrived Wednesday evening, and here I sit, in a room of my own, needing to revise the book my editor rejected, but blogging instead.
The purging binge was contagious. My daughter’s room is now clean and organized, and we’ve taken clothes we don’t wear to the consignment shop and the ARC charity drop-off. Best of all, it’s only Saturday, and I don’t have to return to work until Tuesday, so there is time still to relax. Happy spring!