A New Luxury
We hit a milestone this weekend. After eight years of bunking together, the boys got their own rooms. It was a little bittersweet for me. I loved having them share a room. For practical reasons it made things easier; one stop for laundry, one tuck in at night and one smelly room instead of two. It also meant that our three bedroom home had a guest room and an extra closet at my disposal, both luxuries I’m going to miss.
Practical reasons aside, I loved having the boys share a room because it was so sweet. For all their sibling rivalry and personal differences it was something they shared. They could be on each others nerves all day yet chat it up like long lost friends after lights out. I don’t know what they talked about and that’s the point. It was their time to share brotherly wisdom and build solidarity. I knew they would outgrow the space eventually but had hoped it would see them into middle school.
Life’s plan works on its own time table and the moment for the great divide had arrived. They needed their separate places and we needed some peace. While they are only 26 months apart, an eleven-year-old with one foot into puberty is years ahead of a nine-year-old who has a chest of stuffed animals and an obsession with the Rubik’s cube. They have little in common on good days and the widening age gap made sharing a room akin to sharing a cell. It was time.
Our youngest moved into the guest room. We dismantled one of the twin beds and moved his bureau and bookshelf into the room along with his cadre of plush friends. Our oldest stayed put. We dismantled the freestanding twin bed underneath the lofted bunkbed and bought him a chair to create a reading nook.
Eventually the lofted bunk will get traded for a queen-size bed. The terms of getting a queen-size bed means having to surrender it to guests; a small price for having his own room and a big bed. The result of losing my guest room and spare closet has been more peace in our household; a new luxury I can’t live without.