Friday, January 11, 2008

Passages

We could barely afford this house but we bought it anyway, not least because we imagined all the wonderful parties we could host here.

It was at a party, after all, where we met and the music blared and all the promise and mystery of life seemed hidden in the songs, brash and uncompromising, to which we sang along.

Brash and uncompromising; that was us. Drawn together by a love of fun, a reverence for music and just a touch of wildness.

This room would be perfect, we decided. Room for guitars and drums and keyboards to play. And microphones and even a recording system, Rob joked, to capture jams for posterity: what if Collective Soul dropped by one day?

Or White Stripes, I concurred. And we laughed because we both knew it would be our family and friends who would gather here to laugh and make music and that would be enough.



And it was enough. And magic happened here: when a keyboardist for a country music group and an amateur rapper – friends of friends –– collaborated and when Rob’s long defunct punk band reunited to rehearse the songs they would perform at our wedding.

And then Graham was born and our life expanded. And we sang to him and danced with him and perched him on our knee at the keyboards and behind the drums.


But it happened that his toys got bigger and bigger and our toys sat unused for days and weeks and months even. And it hardly seemed fair that our past should be allowed to crowd out his present.

And so for the past week, mostly as Graham and I slept, Rob has worked down here, not disposing of the past, but prioritizing it, rearranging it, moving it to the sidelines and making way for our son’s future.

It is written that a boy becomes a man when he puts away childish things and yet it seems to me in this modern world, where age is just a number and adulthood a playground and men stay boys for far too long, quite the opposite is true.

It seems to me that a boy truly becomes a man, and a girl a woman, when they finally focus their full attention on childish things and in doing so, give the next generation its own space to play and laugh and explore their passion.

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39 comments:

Just Janice said...

Great post! That is so true. My once hip and funky living room is now sporting a Little People village all over the beautiful hardwood.

Tot's Mom said...

My son's things now seem more than mine. His toys occupy most of the living room. He has some more toys in the bedroom and he even have clothes in MY cupboard! Oh, the amount of space that a small guy actually needs...

Granny Sue said...

Then they grow up, and all their toys are put away. And you put your things back out for a while. Then their little boys come to your house, and once again the toys scatter across the floor.

Enjoy. This time passes too fast.

Lisa b said...

Awww I completely agree.

Dawn said...

I agree. This post is full of wisdom and your writing is beautiful. I hope your boy enjoys his space to play in the home where he is so loved.

Kyla said...

I LOVE that room. That wood. Just beautiful. This was a lovely post.

Haley-O said...

Oooo! I like that! :) (And, I like the room, too...!)

linds said...

Your house is awesome! We have done a lot of redecorating with toys and childish decor, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thanks for this post, I loved it!

painted maypole said...

oh wow. I love the image, though, of all three of you rocking out in that room. I imagine there will still be some rocking... just with some brighter colors and toys underfoot.

La La said...

What a great room! I love it when rooms have stories of their own! Beautifully written!

La La said...

What a great room! I love it when rooms have stories of their own! Beautifully written!

Beth said...

What a beautiful post! So true. Maybe one day when your son is older and his toys are samller you can move some of your old toys back in!

What teenage boy and his friends wouldn't love your old toys?

sky girl said...

Bravo! What a wonderful closing to a wonderful post.

Laura said...

May the sweet song of laughter adn giggles fill the room!

Great post!

Have a great weekend!

Beck said...

This parental reprioritizing can sometimes be a bit wrenching. This change will only be for a season, though, and it looks like you've made it beautifully.

kittenpie said...

This was really nice.
It's true, I think our generation is really holding on longer and having a hard time giving it up.

Magpie said...

Yes indeed.

Rachel said...

Dammit woman. You have such a talent for heartstring tugging posts.
This was so beautiful and so sweet.
I adore that you are such a great blogger and you still come and comment on my humble little site.
:-)
Those walls are gorgeous!!!

Amy said...

Wonderfully written.

My husband had to give up his theater room to make room for the toys. It is a hard thing to do, but so worth it.

Thanks for leaving a comment. I love what you have to say here, and will be back.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I feel your pain, all my guitars are hanging in the guest bedroom and there is a tiny drum kit in my family room along with everything playschool makes.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I love this post. It's a reminder of how our priorities shift once we become parents. I think we all leave a bit of selfishness behind once we have kids!

What a great room to share!

NotSoSage said...

Ha! We have one of those rooms, too...thankfully, there's been no need to shift the priorities as our little one is happy to bang on the drums or pretend to compose at the piano like her daddy while leaving the childish things in the...wait for it...kitchen. That's the room that we have had to give up in some ways...

Lovely post.

Kellan said...

Yes - I couldn't agree more!!! Another great post!! Have a good weekend - see you soon. Kellan

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

So very true, you are so quotable today:)
Love the playroom, great job Daddy.

tommie said...

very well written! We have those same tent things with the tubes. They are a godsend on rainy day!

jennwa said...

That is a great post. I think the toys look better anyway. Have a great weekend.

Karen MEG said...

That last picture really captures the amazing vibrant colour that Graham has brought to your life. Our kids have totally taken over our household with their playthings (hence a basement reno is next on our wishlist) - although I suspect that they'll still want to come up to hang out with us while they're still young. And I also suspect we won't really mind that so much either...as long as their stuff will stay downstairs!

shay said...

Oh, that is the perfect way to say that!

Family Adventure said...

What a beautiful post. You made me tear up.

The room looked great before, but now - it looks like a room full of love.

Heidi

petite gourmand said...

great post!
one day before you know it, Graham will be jammin' with you & Rob in your most awesome "music room"

Manners & Moxie said...

Ah yes! Only, everything comes full circle eventually, doesn't it? Past play things put away to make way for today's replacements will undoubtedly find their way back. Don't you think? Maybe when your little one gets old enough to really appreciate those keyboards and drums and guitars?

This was a great post!

bubandpie said...

What a great visual demonstration of the change that comes with being a parent. But the room will change back too - it will be a party room again in a few years, probably - just not for YOUR parties anymore. ;)

MommyTime said...

This room is gorgeous, and the sentiment strikes home for me too because we spent the whole day cleaning out our basement and making a trip to Ikea to turn it into a playroom. It's no where near as finished and lovely as this yet...but getting there. We seem to have had similar sentiments about past/present this weekend!

Queen of My Domain said...

What a very true thing. And then one day when all the toys are gone, we will finally be able to go back and put out all the things we "used" to have. Then we will look at it and probably be sad that there aren't any more toys in that room. Such is the irony of it all.

Zoe said...

maybe the white stripes would still like to play in there...they are pretty fun.

OHmommy said...

Oh, so true! LOL.

Damselfly said...

I bet he has so much fun in there!

But I still say the flying V looked great in front of that door.

Mac and Cheese said...

I see I'm not the only one who loved this post.

John-Michael said...

Such an energetic, positive, alive, and healthy Spirit and message! Thank you, many times over, for your lovely perspective and presentation. I do savour your willingness to engage lofes fullness.

Lovingly ...