Now say that title again… but hear it the way I do… to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun”… “The Room… at the end… of the hall”.
Five years ago we bought our first home. When we were looking for a place to buy, our future family was very much a part of the decision process. We wanted a house that we wouldn’t have to move from. We could have bought a “starter home” but we were ready to start baby-making and didn’t want to have to move with little kids. So we bought a house that we could put our family in. For being in the city (not downtown or anything), we have a fantastic backyard. It’s big and while we’ve had to do lots of work to it to make it what we want, it’s a great yard for kids to play in. It’s a 3-bedroom house with all bedrooms on the same level. Not big bedrooms, but perfect for the two kids we wanted.
But life didn’t play out the way we intended. The “spare” bedrooms remained guest bedrooms… rarely used. The closets became places to put our out of season clothes. And then the smallest room became my dad’s room when he needed someplace to be while recovering from cancer treatment. Not who we thought would occupy that room. He got the smallest room, because at that time, there was a babe on the way. The other room would know it’s real purpose soon. But the story continued to detour from it’s intended end. And the room at the end of the hall became little more than storage. A place to put teacher books, extra linens, Ba.th and B.ody Wo.rks haul, Cos.tco size supplies of toilet paper — everything except a baby. And the door closed. Why circulate heat/air through a useless room? Why force ourselves to look at it’s vast emptiness full of crap? I’m thankful that although we were stupid enough to buy some significant baby things last time, we never touched that room. We never started to transform it into the baby’s room. It remained the “orange room”. (Named for the colour on the walls of course. It’s a much nicer colour than you’d think.)
Now, the Room at the End of the Hall is starting to transform. We’ve begun to face the reality that maybe, just maybe, there might be a living, breathing baby to put in there. And as much as I’m terrified to start the transformation, summer is the best time to do this because my husband is off work for two months. The room has been cleared of the double bed and the miscellaneous crap… or most of it. The closet has been emptied and dismantled. The mid-wall trim has been pulled off and the nail holes have been filled. But I’m not quite ready for paint. Paint seems like a big commitment. Because right now, it could still be just the spare bedroom…. under construction.
But nursery things have started to creep in. A trip to Lay-Z-Boy resulted in a nursery chair that was on sale. I reasoned that if something bad happens, that chair could go somewhere else in the house. And today, a little area rug came home with us from Cost.co … because if you don’t buy when you see it at Cost.co, it will be gone next time.
I’m caught between being excited to finally decorate a nursery and wanting to slow myself down… because I’m afraid that if I let my guard down too much, bad things will happen. I will wake up and this dream will be just that. That this wiggling, kicking, aerobics-doing little love of my life will vanish and once again the universe will laugh at me for being so gullible as to believe in happy endings.