The Champ’s room is empty save for a trundle bed bought for a handful of dollars at a yard sale and a corner dresser filled with clothes he’s still months away from fitting.
A beige towel — remaindered and untouched from the last overnight guest — lays folded on the chest’s blonde-colored top. It serves as a rough terry mattress for a smattering of keepsake toys with which he’s never played.
The tiny corner boudoir — more extension of hallway than bedroom — has been a concern since the moment the ultrasound technician detected his wand with hers.
Thus he’s never spent a night in his room. He rarely spends the night in his crib.
His clothes — the ones that do fit him — are straining a cheap chest of drawers pushed into the back of my closet. The ones he’s outgrown make their way to a bag tucked in beside it, presumably to be left, like an orphan, on the steps of a charity in a moment of eyes-closed-shut resolve.
My husband wonders if we’ll have to wait until he goes to college before we get our room back. His jokes have sharp teeth that he wraps in humor to dull the effect on my soft flesh.
I refuse to talk about it.
I don’t want to give voice to all that I am thinking:
* That we are showing a kind of deep seated favoritism to our boy since we shuffled our girl off to a room of her own when she was barely one year old.
* That he is my last child, and losing his baby-ness with each passing day.
* That things are progressing in the other house — the house that is not the home we brought our children into but the one in which they will grow up — and that means more change. It means moving our stuff into new rooms; reconfiguring, becoming unsettled to resettle. It means moving him into his own room; a real room — a room that rivals his sister’s.
I don’t want to be reminded that my babies are growing up even though the fact of it confronts me each morning at breakfast. Each day they get taller and taller, able to reach previously unattainable objects as they perch on tippy-toes.
Such happiness I feel in their accomplishment, and yet a somber tone sounds in my head '... soon they won't need me.' Not in the way it feels nice to be needed. When the night time feeding is over; when they’ve mastered the stairs and understand that the woodstove is HOT.
I’m probably going to be the mom who rolls her eyes and goes boneless when her kids want her to find their soccer gear … or get them a glass of juice when they’re mere inches away from the refrigerator.
The day is coming when we will have our room back. When we look at each other and have to figure out how to be alone again. How to just be us.
I don’t want think about that day if it means it will be missing the equivalent of the children’s weight in joy.