She's been asking for a while now to take the castle down.... and I've tried to encourage her to keep it. I've told her over and over how cool it is and how when I was little, I would have loved to have a bed like that. It had a light inside and curtains and everything.... She insisted she was too old for it and that her room would "just look bigger and cleaner" without it.
Somewhere in the last couple months, I started to accept that she's not into princesses anymore. It's been complicated... like everything else... because I thought I'd have another little princess to hand this girly stuff down to. But I don't. And as Des gets older, I see that the little girl stuff goes by so fast....and I miss Rachel even more. I grieve that she isn't here to follow in her big sister's footsteps.
So, taking down the castle was hard for me. I want to hold onto the days in Des that I am missing with Rachel. I want to have a little girl. And Des isn't little any more and Rachel's not here.... and so as I watched Matt bring the castle out... and as we painted over the "Bibidi Babidi Blue" and the "Bubble Gum Pink".... and as we searched on line for "tween" room decor (she told me to use that word!).... my heart was heavy. We moved her pink and white school desk (that Matt painted for her when we first started homeschooling in preschool!) into the basement and replaced it with a regular computer desk... we switched her white dresser with pink nobs for Alice's nice wooden dresser (the woman Rachel's middle name came from...) that matches her bed frame....
She's growing up. It's bittersweet. I'm not sad that she's growing. I think some times when people hear me say that I don't want my kids to grow they think that it's because I want them to stay little, that I like this stage, or that I'm afraid of getting to that 'empty nest' stage when they grow and leave...that's not it. Actually, when I see people with all older kids, I sigh at the idea of how kids get easier to take care of and look forward to the day when I will have more energy and more help....and when I see adult children, I smile at how awesome it will be to have adult relationships with my children and to have grandchildren... All that stuff actually really excited me. I can't wait to see what God does with my living children's lives and who they will become. What a blessing it will be to send them off to college or to watch Matt walk Des down the isle. What a precious day it will be when we are blessed with our first grandchild...and Thanksgivings!! I can't wait for them all to bring their families home for Thanksgiving! I think life just gets richer with time in a family... change and growth...that's not what I'm afraid of.
When I say things like "I don't want him to grow up" or "it's going by too fast" it has more to do with the fact that I know the pain of not getting to watch a child of mine grow then that they are growing. Every new stage is yet another stage I will never get to experience with Rachel. It always comes to mind. And it always hurts a little.
Along the way in cleaning out the junk in her room, I came across some seriously cute - and way too grown up sounding - letters, songs, and stories she has written. She's an awesome writer. She's working on a book and I think she has more pages in hers than I have in mine! And I was really impressed with it, it's pretty good! She is just an amazing girl. I found all sorts of really creative things... grades, sick notes and teacher pay checks from her doll school... I found a few things that she had written "I love Rachel" on. She hung one of them on her wall next to her sign that says "All you need is love." I just smiled knowing that Love... God's love... is certainly more than enough. But also because it was that Love that helped me to love Rachel how she needed to be loved - and I think that shows in how my children love her too. It was awesome getting to know Des more going through her stuff. I should spend more time in there with her.
I'm so thankful I get to watch her grow... to get to find new rooms to meet her 'big girl' needs.... to see her changing... watch her smile and get excited....And boy was she excited!! She has absolutely no idea how hard this was for me to pull off... emotionally, physically, or financially...but I guess that's the best part of being a kid.
The room's color scheme started with the lamp we found and it evolved from that. It 'just happened' to be a 'tween' color pink with daisies on it - and I didn't pick it, Des did. :) We then picked the wall colors and decor to go with it. It also 'just happened' to go with the blanket and rugs she already had and she was happy to keep, so that worked out well!
|I'm pretty proud of my stripes! She didn't think she wanted them, but I had a vision and she let me go for it! She loves it too! I was nervous painting them, but it came out good! And surprisingly really straight!|
|And this photo was the finishing touch... Me, Des & Rachel.|
I didn't realize it until I posted the link to her 8th bday above, but
I gave her this photo for that bday. ♥ my girls ♥
Des was right, this room is way more her style....And Daisy (her hamster) seems to like it too, which was one of her concerns :) Sweet girl, always thinking of her little Daisy. I'm always thinking of mine, too. ♥