Sitting in the Grey

I have been thinking it for over a year, how we need to give them separate rooms, how they need their own space to which they can retreat.  I needed to plan it more though, needed to know who the guest room furniture would go to, needed to have a game plan for splitting up the decorations, who would get the desk and who would get the cool lamp.  I needed to have some spare money to buy things to make it even.  I needed to make sure lil sis was okay without big sis to whisper to at night. 

And then came Saturday morning and the fighting.  I no longer needed a plan.  

They helped.  Lil sis happily kept the old room, familiar and known.  Big sis mopped the floors of her new room, stating that we should leave it empty so it could be a gymnastics room (cartwheel, cartwheel, cartwheel).  They were fine, I was fine, we all worked together.  I earned respect for the way I used the mallet to take apart the metal bed frame, “Niiiice, Mom!”.    We listened to music.  We took a break for lunch.  We closed the windows as the sun beat in, then opened them up again because we missed the breeze.  


We tucked them in that night, they had fallen asleep at their cousins’ house so they didn’t hesitate to crawl into their beds, more upset that I made them brush their teeth than worried about their own solitude.  They were asleep before I made it to the hallway. 

But the next morning it sunk in for me, as I asked Hadley to go tell her sister that breakfast was ready.  “I will once this song is done”, Maycee said through a crack in the door.  Taylor Swift and Katy Perry had been on all morning.  I had already taken juice up to her room.  I thought she would like some.  Well, and I missed her.  I was both elated to know she was enjoying her new space, and feeling the void of her spirit and spunk downstairs.  Downstairs, where just the morning before she came down before any of us to make us coffee and pour cherrios for her little sister.   But one sunrise later, things felt different.

Maybe this is why I took so long, maybe the “planning” I thought I needed to get done first was really just my way of prolonging the next phase.  On one hand I can feel confident that this is the right step, that they will benefit from having their own rooms; and then Hadley cries and confides in me that she misses her sister being in her room and it becomes easy for me to convince myself that I’ve ruined her childhood, that she wasn’t ready, that this change is too much for her to handle right now.  

As the days go on I see glimpses of them adjusting a bit better, inviting each other into their respective spaces.  Sure the fighting is still there, now with doors shutting on one another and pleas being made on the other side of the door, but I have to trust that they will figure this out.  That they will create new boundaries and find new ways to assert themselves and respect each other in their new-room-inspired-roles.   I have to trust that it will get better, that this change is good.

Even when it doesn’t always feel good.  

It’s often the sitting in the grey zones — where it’s neither black nor white…where we can’t say that it’s AWESOME, but we can’t say it sucks so that we can find a need to change it either — when it feels most uneasy.  But maybe I can try sitting confidently in the grey, sitting tall in the unsure, so that when it passes I can say, “oh, yeah, I knew we’d get here”.   Yeah.  I’ll try that. 

 © Houseman 2013