I am writing this in the latter part of February.
President’s Day is over, STAR testing will be soon. We stopped singing the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ weeks ago and I’m now working off the Valentine’s Day chocolate.
I am an organized sort of person. I like things neat and tidy. After school drop-off, I regularly swoop through the whole house, putting things in their place and sweeping the floor.
So why is it, this fourth week of February, that the front room of the house, the one with the sweeping staircase, cathedral ceilings and wide open entryway, the potential for elegance unbounded, is cluttered?
With Christmas decorations.
The tree annually located in this formal space, lit up just so that it’s shine radiates outside into the street and therefore obviating the need for mechanical reindeer in the front yard, disappeared in December.
In its’ place came…Lego.
The entire formal front room and dining area have turned into a giant Lego laboratory for my son, Sebastian. Sofas have been pushed aside, tables and chairs worked around. At least three major setups are ongoing while thousands of Lego pieces are variously grouped in trays forming project hubs spread around the 325 square foot living space.
Moving around these rooms brings new meaning to ‘tiptoeing through the tulips.’ Trays inevitably get kicked and Legos fall out, where, of course, inevitably they get left.
And I know you know what Legos under a dainty bare foot can feel like. 🙂
So why have I allowed this commandeering of what is, or was, the only real stylish area in the house?
The only room that I would look at and go, ‘Ahhh,’ with a long sigh of contentment as I came down the stairs each morning and before I hit the family room with its odd assortment of train track, magazines, books and DVD’s combined with furniture that dates back to my and my husband’s respective singleton days (seriously) and soft furnishings left behind by the previous homeowners.
The laminated labeling of everything à la a kindergarten classroom provides a special touch of class, I think.
I let this Lego domination thing happen because it is his passion.
The one he exercises first thing in the morning before anyone is up, and last thing before he goes to bed. He’ll even forsake time on the computer to work on one of his projects.
I seriously question whether any girl will wield the same power later in life.
This way he has lots of space to work in, he can get as creative as he wants unfettered by space issues and I have enormous sympathy for that.
Growing up in England, where far too many people are squeezed onto a small island means everything is small and, by Californian standards, cramped, gives me an appreciation for the luxury of s-p-a-c-e.
I want him to know that his passions are important. More than material things and rooms that look like they come from Architectural Digest, more than impressing visitors, or an elegant space to relax in.
But most of all, I know that I will not have another chance. That time is precious. This time won’t come back.
Boys grow up and become interested in girls (or boys) and travel and careers. They don’t want to spend time with their mums anymore. And besides when they’re grown up, they’re not all squooshy and mushy anymore. They’re big and stubbly and hard.
And that is how it should be.
I look back at photos of when they were little and the memories raise themselves. I miss those days but I’m content because I understood at the time they wouldn’t re-occur.
I made the most of them at the time.
Who cares if I have a messy front room for now? That socks that are pulled off and strewn about, the better to gain carpet traction. That instruction booklets of projects already assembled still lay around.
My front room has become a massive boy cave. Complete with holiday-decorations-in-February that somehow fit the overall look and feel of the space now that it’s no longer a showpiece.
I’ll get that cornucopia of elegance back. But for now, I’ve loaned it out.
On extended terms.
And that’s a-okay by me.
If you appreciated this article, please do me a favor and share on Facebook or Twitter. There are buttons at the top and bottom of this article.