For the cure this month I've been updating my kids' shared bedroom. But when I was faced with the prospect of removing a set of wall decals, the last remnant of Ralph's little baby room (pictured here shortly after we moved in), I paused. I have a vision of their room being a little more grown up, and I know these decals don't fit the picture. But why was it so hard to take them down?
The thing is, those decals weren't just any decals. I pasted them when we had just barely moved in, a family fresh from Australia, carrying our first kid to the US - when he was only 6 months old. I stuck them up with a downstairs neighbor, Jen, who was probably my first real friend I had made here. Afterwards we had posed with Ralph for photos as he bounced himself up and down in our arms.
Here's what I knew - the room did not embody who Ralph is right now: chilled out, read-a-holic, big train-set playing, rabbit-loving Ralph. Instead, it embodied my memory of Ralph: bouncy little baby Ralph. The decals were just a part of it. My memory of Ralph, of moving here, of new friends. The room had moved from being his room, to mine. A room for my memory.
Well, it's time for Ralph to get his room back. For his room to be all his (well, and his sister's, sorry bud). And as a result, the wall decals went. It was hard to do, but just because they aren't up on his wall, and his room doesn't look the way it used to, doesn't mean I won't remember and cherish Ralph like that. But I also want to honor that awesome kid that I have right now.
Got a room (and kid) you had to let grow up? Share your story below.
(Image: Alison Gerber)