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From the time I can remember, my mom has talked about sharing a room with her little sister, incidentally my favorite aunt.  Aunt Gayle is eight years my mom’s junior and the only other girl in their family of four children.  I always wanted to have a huge family full of siblings that laughed raucously like my aunts and uncles did when we gathered at Nana’s house.  My mom would laugh at the suggestion, casually telling me how difficult it was to house your sister in your bed…

“Oh, how would you like to share a room with a little sister who peed in the bed every other night?  We’d wake up freezing cold and I would get mad!”

I longed to share a room with a sister—tell secrets, share gossip about how strict Mom and Dad were, plot revenge on our naked, streaking brothers…I thought the idea of sharing clothes and space and breath would be just perfect.  Of course, I’d have the perfect sister—no cat fights and certainly no stealing each other’s things.  We’d have perfect mutual trust and respect for each other…Better than a sister even was a twin…That would make sharing a room even more perfect.  I wanted to be one of a set of two with only a slight genetic flaw to differentiate me from my sister. 

Since our move, my boys have shared a room.  This sharing thing is FULL of angst, dirty socks, and legos at every turn.  The floor is always dirty and the top bunk slung together like a pile of old laundry.  The bottom bunk is a cave for a man-boy.  The stuffed wolf lies watch over an iPhone and a circuitry kit stuffed in the side of the bed.  Books tumble out of  the wooden overhang on the bed pushing the mattress flush with the wall.  Smelly socks peek out from under the trundle bed that is precariously hidden under the low clearance of the bottom bed.  The ladder to the top sits slightly crooked from an indoor basketball stunt that left a mighty bruise on the shin on one eight year old boy.  Each of the two dressers has drawers hanging half open with shirts and shorts and PJs spilling over the edge.  Each topped with piggy banks and crooked trophies knocked off repeatedly in one-on-one indoor basketball or the exciting game of leap from the top bunk.  It is a boy’s haven.  When the closet door opens, the boys know to run because who knows what will fly out to greet them soundly on the head.  Nightly fights ensue over lights out or lights on or he said, he said…he farted…he stinks…but in the middle of the night, when the dreams go dark—the younger finds his way down to the bottom bunk and the man-boy makes sure he is ok…

 

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