a year of stories - 36 of 52 / by Carey Pace

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit ALLISON GIPSON after you read this post to continue the circle.*

For months she's brought up the hopes of rearranging her bedroom.  

For months, I've dodged, weaved, distracted, redirected, and any other -ed word you can think of in the hopes she'd forget it or change her mind. 

I can't quite put my finger on why the interior of my home matters so very much to me.  I don't know if it was that I grew up poor in a home that I choose to describe here as 'not decorated' or if it boils down to my personality type whose emotions are so deeply affected by my surrounding environment.  How a space FEELS is immensely important to me.  I've tried to temper that and be rational about what we've purchased over our adult lives, but learning the techniques of interior design, arranging, color theory, etc. have been areas I've researched.  I wanted to know how to make my spaces fuel me and create a haven of refuge for our family without wasting ten tons of money.  

I can't tell you how many times my husband and I have had a vehement discussion about NOT butting furniture up against each other.  He sees no problem with it and I'm screaming THAT IS NOT AESTHETICALLY APPEALING. THERE MUST BE SPACE.    Alas... 

So, when she started peppering our conversations with her plans for how she wanted to move the furniture in her room, I cringed internally.  She wanted the bed up against the wall -- I hate beds up against the wall.  It's ugly and it makes making the bed sooooo much harder.  She wanted other pieces in her room up against each other.  We'd already screwed the lamp into the wall.  We'd already hung up all the wall art.  This ruined everything.  

I didn't say those things to her, of course, and I tried so hard not to reveal my true feelings.  As she continued to bring it up, I realized the desire wasn't going to disappear.  It was time to let her do with her room what I've always let her do with her clothes.  I never struggled much with the clothes, and her room is only seen by us as her family so I'm not sure why it has been so hard for me to let go of what I felt was her beautiful little girl bedroom.  But it is HERS, not mine, and should reflect who she is in this moment to the best of our ability.  

So on our day off from school for Labor Day Monday, we pulled out the sliders and moved things around.  

She is in love.  

My heart died a little with the bed in the corner.  In front of the window.  My heart died with the cubby shelf thing right up against her dresser.  But she loves it, and that's really the whole point.  

I had a pom pom I had tried to hang pompoms with 3M command hooks a while back but some of them fell off the walls.  As a means of just getting it up off the floor, I connected it to one of the hooks remaining on the wall. I figured I'd reassess the pom pom situation when we redid the wall art once we were SURE this was the final arrangement.  But I'd pulled my ribbon basket upstairs for some reason and she saw all my ribbon.  She had an idea and asked if she could use my ribbon.  I told her she could go for it.  This was all completely her idea. After some struggles to get the ribbon to stay put, I showed her how to double it up and pull the tails through, and she was all set.  

The next morning when the sun rose through her window as I woke her for school, and I saw that beautiful light shining through all that ribbon, I, too, fell in love with her new room.  

I'm so glad I let go of my own control and let her take the reins of her space. 

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit ALLISON GIPSON after you read this post to continue the circle.*