However, as I contemplated my first step, removing all the current wall decorations from their walls, I had a moment of utter sadness at a time gone by. When we bought and began remodeling this house I was pregnant with Asher and Cainan was not even two. When we decided we would keep this house for ourselves (instead of flipping it), my mother-in-law and I came together to create the bedroom for the boys.
I had a very distinct idea of what I wanted: primary colored
stick figure characters and simply drawn backgrounds. I wanted to use them as accents, either in a wallpaper border or prints, here and there. For some reason, I couldn't find anything that fit the bill. We found an artist, Todd Parr, who drew exactly the kind of characters I was looking for but not in any home decor lines. We did find a whole bolt of fabric on clearance at Wal-mart that happened to have his characters on it. Crazy!
My mother-in-law took the fabric and unbeknownst to me, cut out a ton of the characters, roads, houses and other bright color blocks to make her own buildings. She showed up with a tub of wallpaper paste and proceeded to make amazing murals all over the freshly painted yellow walls. What resulted was an incredible city of silly characters, headed to school, the airport, the police station; riding in cars, trains and planes. She even spelled out Cainan's name in the same fabric. The room was incredible and even better than I had envisioned.
As I walked into their room two days ago with the excitement of starting anew, I realized how sad I was at the prospect of seeing those silly characters gone. They've been here nearly eight years now. They are part of the only bedroom Asher has ever known and the only one Cainan can remember.
I decided to take pictures of everything. Even though they've held up remarkably well for something my mother-in-law was just going to "experiment" with, some have begun to pull away from the wall. Cainan's name is missing the "C" and a few roadways are starting to fray. I know it's time for them to go. I know my boys are seven and nine...Cainan would probably enjoy them for a while longer but Asher probably wouldn't like the childlike images much more than five minutes--that boys is growing up and maturing so fast it makes my head spin. And that's probably part of my sadness in seeing them go.
I have loved every moment of watching my boys grow, mature, learn and develop into the amazing people they are. I haven't looked back much with loss or grief over previous stages. I do not wish my boys were babies again, or (God forbid) toddlers! Those were worthwhile, joyous but obnoxiously HARD years. I love the ages they are now. But walking into their room with a sponge in hand to wipe away the characters that have been a part of their lives for most of their lives gave my heart a wrench.
I'm going to miss those silly characters. I'm going to miss the reminder, each time I walk in the room of being pregnant with my precious Asher, painting walls and going over decoration ideas with my mother-in-law; holding little Cainan in my arms and showing him all the silly faces, the
airport where Daddy worked and the police station where Mommy worked (that's why my MIL included those buildings in the Silly City!!). I'm thinking I might even shed a tear as I finally do take a sponge to those walls and wipe it all away.
In a few days they will be all gone and I'll be painting the walls with a fresh coat of bright yellow paint (the boys chose yellow again). Their new bunk beds that we're building are going to be spectacular! The new design of their room (including a new vinyl window to replace the old metal single pane) will improve their comfort, create so much space and efficiency. I'm excited to see it come together and once I get going I know the moment of hesitation and grief will pass. I'm glad I took these last few pictures and took the time to reflect.
I'll be sharing pictures of the new room as soon as it's done.