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A Shared Room

Before we knew what gender our second child would be, there was a great huge part of my heart which longed for another girl. I dreamt of a sisterhood I never had. I envisaged shared closets and fights over clothes. I forecasted secret languages and whispered secrets. I saw bunk beds when they were in primary school, then still a shared room as tweens, legs draped over beds, nail polish on the go, Justin Bieber belting from someone’s iPod, reading magazines and scheming news ways to drive their mother crazy and their father fearful.

It would be just like this poem I once read:

This Beautiful Life – by Annie Flavin

There will be beds in the room;
there will be one bed.

There will be a girl in our home;
there will be two girls.

They will
look like
and be like
and ooze life like
I thought I had imagined.

Only it is different.
Only it is better.

Only my soul
knows that
the bed and 
the girls–
oh goodness, the girls–
are exactly
what I needed
to break open and build
this beautiful life.

 

How silly of me. How often we load up our children with the dreams of all the things we went without, before realising they don’t need them.

Today, Ella and Billy share the kind of sibling relationship I always dreamed of. Hysterical fights but fierce loyalty. Fits of giggling that only they understand. Running to each other for comfort instead of us. Shared wardrobes, shared apple bites, shared childhoods. And now, after months and months of begging, they a share room. Just like I dreamed all those years ago when a little girl was told she was going to be a sister.

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The poem in my mind has been changed to this:

There will be beds in the room;
there will be one bed.

There will be a girl in our home;
there will be a boy.

They will
look like
and be like
and ooze life like
I thought I had imagined.

Only it is different.
Only it is better.

Only my soul
knows that
the bed and 
the children–
oh goodness, the children–
are exactly
what I needed
to break open and build
this beautiful life.

Girlhood and boyhood may be different, but that certainly doesn’t mean the souls within them can’t weave together tight. They can. And oh, they do.

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I can’t wait for the memories they will make in this room.

And as for Billy’s cot?

I’m keeping it.

Just in case. 

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2 Responses to “A Shared Room”

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