Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Want a Room

I want a room that is all my own.

I place I can read, write, dream, think, be.

My husband has his man-cave, a place for his poker tables and chip collection. It's a room I rarely enter. It is the one room in the entire house that I haven't touched in any way (well, that and his bathroom. If you'd seen his bathroom you'd understand why I've avoided that one too).

It is entirely his. There he can revel in his manness. There he can indulge in all the hobbies and activities that I don't share with him. It is in that room that he plays games, solves puzzles, rearranges his collection, polishes the fingerprints off his plaques. It is there he goes when he wants privacy to wrap Christmas presents, build models, or put something he doesn't want meddled with.

I am welcome there. I can visit him in his den if I wish. Occasionally I venture in and ask about this chip or that. He goes into great detail, giving me a much more in-depth answer than I can comprehend or appreciate. And while I am welcome there, the space remains his.

I want that.

It is true that I have in one way or another, taken over the rest of the house. I choose the paint colors and the curtains. I move the furniture the way I want it. However, in doing so, I always consider his tastes. I decorate in a way that will suit us both, not just me. If I was making decisions only for myself then I would choose differently.

I paint. I hang things. I plan renovations. He says nothing. He lets me do what I want. And if that is the case, isn't the whole house mine, and the Salon Privee his?

I don't think so.

It's in how a room is used.

Our bedroom may have green walls and furniture that I picked out, but it has his mess as well as mine. Not to mention Jenny's clothing strewn across the floor, toys under my bed, and a kitty contaminating my sheets.

The office holds my piano and our desk. I painted a shimmering topcoat on the walls to make it give the illusion that it's glowing. But the desk is cluttered, there is an obstacle course on the floor between the chair and the door, and despite my best efforts I can't keep the closet doors closed.

The bathroom often acts as my refuge. In there I can be alone. I put the entertainment and safe keeping of our children in my husband's capable hands in the hour after dinner and before bedtime. I shut the door, light a candle, and slip into the tub. But the tub doesn't fit my back and the tile and floor is old and ugly. Plus I have to clean toddler grime out of the tub every time I want to use it.

The nursery probably comes closest to being mine. Brent has a couple of things on a high shelf in the closet, but other than that it is entirely my domain. Except everything in there serves the baby. Except the chair. The chair is mine.

So I have chair. A place I read and write and think. But I can only use it when the baby isn't sleeping. And if the baby isn't sleeping, chances are, I can't really have the time to myself to enjoy the chair anyway.

Someday I'll have a room.

In my room I will have a piano. A harp. A little antique desk that will hold my laptop, my stationary, and nothing else. I'll have an old bookcase full of my beat-up paperbacks. My books look so shabby next to Brent's leather bound books, that they need their own space. I don't want them shoved inaccessibly in a box. I want them out. I want their loved and dog-eared pages to be close at hand.

I'll decorate with florals and toile. Or maybe in shades of white. I'll have a large window that will face a garden. I'll have a comfortable arm chair and lots of lamps. The kitty will never be admitted. The children's toys will never encroach. I will be able to shut the door when I need solitude, or open the door when I feel like welcoming my daughter's happy face and energetic play. I will keep flowers on an occasional table. There will be no phone. There will be no television. I'll have a brightly colored rug and a plant with dark, waxy leaves in a terracotta pot that I'll paint with polka dots.

A luxury, you say? Absolutely. In my large house I plan on having many children. Space always seems at a premium, despite how much square footage a family has. Maybe I won't get my room for many years, when my yet unborn children are grown and Brent and I become empty-nesters.

It's just as well.

Until I have the luxury of having time to myself, I suppose there isn't much point in having a room to myself. When that day comes I'll have my pick of rooms. Will I want it as much then? When the whole house is empty, will I even need my own space? I'll have the time to enjoy it, but will I spend that time longing the rooms to be filled to overflowing once more, mourning the disappearance of my babies?


We are HamakerLove! said...

I might be a bit selfish. My babies share a room so I can have my own room. My house is small, so it is also practical. I have too much material, too much craft stuff, too much school stuff to put it anywhere else, but in this room. I have a friend in Vegas who is super into making sure each child has their own room, but I shared my room growing up, and I think it made me a better roommate in college,etc. A mother has so many responsabilities(sp?..I am too tired) always on her mind. She needs a place that is quiet and peaceful and clean, even if it is just a corner in her room where she can open her eyes and there is no mess. I have tried to live without this before, and I have found I just really need this small space. My garden is sometimes this space for me too.

Goodluck! You are doing a good job with what you have and I am proud of you!

Emily said...

The answer to your question is, of course, yes.

When you have endless time and space to yourself, you will want to share it. Funny how that works.


Jenn said...

I long for my own studio space.

Right now I've several paintings going at one time and want to start a charcoal. Cards are spread all over my desk and starting to encroach upon Nathan's dresser.

My studio space is a third of our bedroom and I've already gotten phthalo green all over my bedspread. The first lesson in painting with oils is that phthalo green tends to travel.

I completely understand your desire to call your special things to you in one environment and brand it your own.

All in good time.

Susan said...

Well, yes, you always do mourn your lost babies. Always. But there are huge compensations in seeing your children become sterling examples to the rest of the world. And then come grandchildren that you get to love, and when they leave your house is too quiet for awhile, but then you acknowledge the fact that you welcome both their comings and their goings. You will one day have your own space, but, yes, you will always miss the comings and goings and growings of your own brood.