My Dear Oldest Son,
I’m sure you didn’t think it was very significant when we picked you up on Friday and the first thing The Princess asked you was, “Have you seen your room?”
Let me tell you a story....
When I was nearly four years old, I tripped on the sidewalk in my shiny black shoes on the way to Sunday School. I landed on the right on the curb, earning myself this attractive black eye just in time for Christmas:
The first thing I said? “I want to be in Grandma’s bed.”
Grandma W was the most nurturing person in my world. She was practically the center of my universe. She seemed to have magical powers, turning black clouds up on end to display not just their silver linings, but bright rays of gold shining through. She was the very embodiment of unbridled joy, and her bed was the very essence of all that meant “comfort” to my four-year-old heart.
My wise parents acted on my wishes, and I soon found myself resting on mounds of down-feathered pillows under layers of hand-stitched quilts, in Grandma’s hand-carved oak bed. Right where I needed to be. Suddenly it didn’t matter if my head hurt. I was comfortable. I was safe. I was loved.
*Flash forward a few decades.*
The other night The Princess was feeling sick. She had a fever, a sore throat, a stomach ache...and woke up in the night with a fierce case of the flu. What she did completely surprised me. She crawled into YOUR bed! (even though this photo is of her on the couch)
My first impulse was to scold her. To lecture her about spreading germs, and unnecessary cleaning projects. And then I thought of my three-year-old self longing for a place that was comforting, that reminded me of the very essence of Home. And she chose the space that reminded her of YOU. That was her comfort place — the haven kept waiting for her big brother.
And so I let her. She camped out there for three or four days. And then made sure to tidy everything up and change the sheets before you came home.
So I’m pretty sure that when she asked you if you’d seen your room...she hoped you wouldn’t mind the flowered pillowcases and mismatched sheets (hey, at least they’re clean!) and I think she also kind of wanted you to know that your room had been her safe place last week. A place representing all the comfort and protection and love her big brother has to offer. Which of course means more than you’ll ever know.