Every year, sometimes twice a year, our nieces and nephew spend a week with us. We love it. Now they’re 4, 8, 10 and 13 years old, but when this first started the youngest was closer to two. It’s really a special gift that their mom allows us to build a relationship with them in this way, especially because we live four hours away.
As much joy that is present when they’re here, it doesn’t even come close to the sorrow that replaces it when they leave. The silence of our house when all four kids leave is deafening. The emptiness of those two extra bedrooms is magnified to a point that it’s almost overwhelming.
Part of it is our own fault.
About three years ago we set up one of the bedrooms as a child’s room. We did this in anticipation of adopting children. The adoption took longer than it should have, and when we did get licensed our caseworker informed us that he was too busy to deal with adopt-only families. DEVASTATED. So, we severed ties with CPS and decided to take a break from the journey of adoption.
That room has remained a child’s room all this time.
I know–why do that to ourselves?! We have a room in our own house that we avoid because it’s too painful to walk into! It’s hard to let go of all the hard work of painting–and not just a single color. I painted vertical stripes! On top of that, fives years ago my husband’s sister had given us a bunch of baby stuff her daughter had outgrown. It was all in there too.
A few months ago, I took the first step. I gave away all the baby stuff. It took me about eight trips to the truck to get it all loaded up–and I think I stopped and cried before every trip. But it felt great to give all that away so that someone else could put it to use.
I think it’s time to repaint the room.