When I first found out I was pregnant with a girl, I was beyond excited. Not only was I going to be able to dress her up in beautiful “girlie” outfits, and buy her Barbie dolls, but I was also going to be able to give her the girlie room I always dreamed of having.
You see, I was the eldest of four. Three girls and one boy. Growing up, we lived in the smallest of homes. First there was the apartment in Collaroy, with only 2 bedrooms. Our bedroom was positively tiny. And in it were three cramped little girls, on bunks and a makeshift cot. There was not a hint of pink. There was not a hint of purple. There was not a hint of red. Instead, there were mustard orange bedspreads and ugly pine bunk beds. Now, I’m not complaining as that’s all my parents could afford and, let’s face it, they didn’t really have the desire to make our room look beautiful, or even inviting. No, our room was a miss-mash of odd-sod furnishings and decor.
I had friends with beautiful “pink” rooms, with dolls and pretty ornaments, and fancy cushions. Instead of that, I had a sister who loved to beat me up and snored, and another sister who was a baby and woke up numerous times a night. Fun.
Then there was the place at Narrabeen. It was tiny, and by then there was 6 of us. I had to share a room with one of my younger siblings. And the mountain of laundry. And the books and magazines that my parents hoarded. And the sewing machine. And my dad’s fishing gear.
And I hated it.
So it was inevitable that, when I had my own girls, I would try to give them the sort of room I always dreamt of. And, since we have moved into our new house, that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do.
It’s a “work in progress”, but it’s certainly getting there. Whereas the boys each have their own room, I have put the two girls together. They seem to prefer it that way. I remember when I was young, I would have given anything for my own room, away from the bullying and grunting snores of my sister. Even when I was 16, I was still sharing with either my youngest sister or my baby brother. And that’s NOT the age to be sharing with much younger siblings.
And so my girls have a pink room. They have pretty cushions. They have matching bed linen. They have gorgeous white bedroom furniture. Everything I wanted but never had.
I think that’s common with so much of our generation. We strive to give our kids everything our parents couldn’t give us. We have a need to ensure our family lives are happier, and less dysfunctional, than the ones we had. At least, that’s what we all hope we’ll do. I want my kids to be surrounded by beauty, to appreciate what they have and to take pride in their home. I want them to make their beds each morning, and put away their clothes. I want them to enjoy playing in their beautiful rooms, and use those wonderful imaginations. I want them to read all the books on their bookshelf in the comfort of their “sanctuary”, and dream beautiful dreams as they sleep each night.
And I think by giving them a room they love, a place that is beautiful, where they feel both happy and comfortable, they will do all that. And more.