Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Space - Part I

I have always been a bit of a minimalist. Adding two children in twenty-four months to a smallish house has only served to fuel my urge to purge.

I don’t want two spatulas if one will serve. Coffee mugs? I’m ruthless. I’ve whittled my wardrobe down to the bare necessities (as evidenced by the fact that I wear the same pair of jeans over and over and over again.)

Books, I freely admit, are an absolute exception to this policy. I am shamelessly over-indulgent when it comes to books. Walk through my house and the evidence, I’m afraid, is everywhere.

Space is a funny thing. Dave and I married relatively late in life – we were 34 and 32 respectively. Both of us had lived on our own for quite a while and had accumulated the requisite furnishings. We toyed with the idea of writing “No Gifts, Please” on our wedding invitations. After all, we owned two queen-sized beds, four couches, three cars, two microwave ovens, etc.

We bought our house from a family of seven desperately in need of more spacious digs. In came couches, beds, et al. When all was sorted out, we had two bedrooms full of “stuff.” When Tim arrived, we cut the stuff in half to make room for a nursery. When a friend moved in for an extended visit, the stuff was further reduced to what could fit under a very tall rice bed – still a whole lotta stuff. When Kolbe arrived, out went the rice bed and the twenty-something boxes supporting it.

Somehow we eliminated two entire rooms full of stuff we really needed.

Six years later our sweet John arrived. What to do, what to do? I am firmly of the opinion that with the arrival of a third child, friends should host a “reverse shower.” Show up with a box of diapers and take at least three items with you as you leave. Trust me, the mother will thank you.

So it is as families grow. Tim had the gorgeous nursery with all the trimmings. Kolbe took over the guest room. John got a bassinet and an armoire. And Ainsley? I’m painting a shelf to hold a decorative letter “A”, a cross, a piggy bank, and a lovely tea pot.

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