Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rooms of Their Own

At the end of the school year, we are moving. We don't have a place yet, but I know where I want to live and what the space needs to have. That's a pretty good start.

I believe, within reason, if I can see it, I can do it. When I quit smoking, got off my lazy butt, and signed up for the Boston to New York AIDS Ride, I visualized myself pedaling my bike into New York City. That imagery made it possible for me to do what needed to be done to get there. When I gave birth to Ruby with no drugs, I visualized holding and nursing my beautiful baby and I got through the worst of active labor. I don't necessarily think if I visualize myself playing tambourine on stage with Counting Crows, that's likely to happen but, you never know. Lately, I've been visualizing a day when I take a pill to slow my MS and there are no more needles three times a week. If I can just get a chemist to do them same.

There are many reasons for this move. Chief among them is that Ruby and Zane need their own rooms. It's becoming increasingly impossible for me to be even a mediocre mommy with them in a shared space, particularly at bedtime. I try to stagger the bedtimes so Zane is asleep when Ruby goes in to bed but that's not always doable, particularly when it's a night that their dad picks them up and they get home late and strung out on sugar. It can take a long time to get them wound down and in their jammies and I feel like a meany saying "no" to a snack, particulary when I'm not sure when or what they ate for dinner. Often, there is way too much yelling and threatening the loss of things that make my life easier like PBS during breakfast. There are tears, I eat too much to stuff the feelings of frustration, I miss critical scenes in Lost or whatever I'm watching on TV, and I often end up having to put Ruby in my bed and then carry/walk by 5-ft. tall 8-year old back into her own bed when I finally retire for the evening. Bedtime with kids sharing a room is not fun for any of us.

Now that I have to be at work at 8:30 a.m., bedtime is very important to me, too. I need to get them in bed so I can do all the night-before activities on my list (including watching TV for an hour and doing absolutely nothing). And, if I'm really honest with myself, I have to admit I need 8 hours sleep a night to think with any clarity and not yawn in the CEO's face during meetings. And, since my children are children, they need at least 11 hours at night and I have to get them up pretty early.

In addition to the bedtime issues, they just need their own spaces. Ruby needs lot of space for her many collections of crap....I mean TREASURES. She also needs to protect her stuff from her little brother who thinks every single toy in the world should be crashed into another toy as quickly and as hard as possible. And, as she is maturing, she needs privacy. Zane, on the other hand, needs room to crash his cars and build train tracks and towers and act out scenes with his rescue heroes.

So, here's my perfect place to live:

A single family or one floor of a two family house
Hardwood floors.
3-4 bedrooms (a guest room/office would be awesome), each with their own closet
Big kitchen with dishwasher and eating space
Washer and Dryer (no coins or cards) in my space
Nice, reasonable landlord
Fenced in yard where the kids can play.
Close to the train
Place to garden or put window boxes on a porch
Off street parking for me and the occasional guest

I visualize walking Zane to bed at bedtime, letting him pick out two books, lying in his bed with him and reading the two books and then letting him read one to himself. Then, I go into Ruby's room, make sure she has finished her homework, and read a chapter from her book, leaving her to read another chapter to herself. Then, I go back to Zane's room, kiss, hug and high-five him goodnight, turn out the light, pull up his covers, and close his door until morning. After a while, I go back to Ruby and do the same, making sure to leave her with a good dream about Super Pepper (our cat) flying through the sky saving people, particularly children. Then, I pack lunches, pick out clothes, and relax for the evening. And then I go to bed and the fairies come and clean my bathroom.

Speaking of cleaning, someone is looking at the condo tomorrow and I have to clean. I don't have enough dishes to throw out the dirty ones (don't laugh--I did this once when I had a 1-year old and a 5-year old to take care of by myself while we were going though the divorce and having open houses to sell the marital homend). My current trouble spot is my room, not the kitchen. It's clean laundry--mostly mine, and papers. I am always tempted to just throw out the piles of papers since they are piles after all so will I really miss a particular item?

Or, I could visualize an organized home where all my papers are neatly filed and all my clothes are hung up in the closet. But Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids is over and we have to go buy a gift for Zane's 5-year-old friend before his birthday party this afternoon. Maybe Jake would like a pile of papers?


  1. What's going on in Julie-world? Don't leave us hanging so long. :)

  2. Sorry, Anonymous. I was settling into my new job and transitioning my home laptop from a PC back to a Mac. To paraphrase Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech: Thanks for caring. "I guess this means you like really, really like me!" I love having READERS. :-)
    Lazy J