Right now 2 of my 4 children are on Prednisone. One of them is responding fairly well, with less coughing and congestion. The other child is not coughing as much, and while that's a benefit, she also seems to be driving the crazy train, backwards, and down a windy mountain pass. Seriously, we've all learned it's best to not look her directly in the eye, during her 3 day course of meds, and it's always best to answer any of her questions in the form of a song from "Frozen". If you cannot follow these two simple rules, then you probably better not come to our house for a few days.
Speaking of our house, we have just done a bit of a not so extreme makeover home edition, with the help of our friend named Bob (the builder) and our very own hands. For a few months, we had debated about moving to a larger home versus finishing our basement. Both options totally overwhelmed us, financially and emotionally, and after about 8 pro's and con's lists, we finally decided to stay put. We compromised on the basement and instead of fully finishing it, we had our friend Bob come and put in a wall, a closet, 2 lights and a door. Billy and I did the rest. Will at age 10, contributed too, actually a lot except he had to be watched closely whenever he had any kind of tool in his hands. Or near his hands. Or in the same room.
Will was all for moving to the basement from the start. In fact he began the process last summer, and finally got the guts up to sleep down there alone back in February. Jack, our 15 year old who hates change even more than I do, took a little more coaxing. We promised him we'd fix the vent so that heat would flow into the room. (We did). We promised him that we'd lay nice carpet down so he wasn't walking on concrete. (We did). We promised him that he could design the layout of the room, along with his brother and we'd stick to it as closely as possible. (We did). And we promised him that we'd decorate it in a way that would make him want to be down there hanging out. (You guessed it. We did).
Thanks to the awesomeness of Hobby Lobby, the boys now live in a super hero room. My mom was in town for the decorating part, and I made her hang all the hard stuff, because sometimes when I am trying to hang things straight I get so tense that I want to punch a hole in the wall. I worked all day in their room, doing the organizing and followed Jack's design instructions. The boys came home from school dying to see the finished result. Meanest mom ever made them do their homework and wait until Billy came home so he could see their faces too. When they walked in, both boys screamed at their new digs, with big smiles extending from ear to ear.
That night Billy and the boys moved the rest of their stuff down, and once it was all done, I went to their old room, sat on the floor and cried. Those four little walls saw Jack grow from 5 years old to 15, and Will from 9 months old to a big 10 year old. That room is where they held their stuffed animals while falling asleep, played legos for hours on end, and went from being little people dependent on mommy and daddy to boys who know what they are about, and what it means to be a brother. I went down to say goodnight, in the Batcave, and decided right then and there it was time to start making new memories. We prayed and thanked God for the great new space, twice the size of their old room. We thanked God for providing new things to make their room fun, and we asked God to keep them safe all the way downstairs.
I'm happy to report, 7 days in, and the Batcave is a success. With the exception of one wolf spider incident, the boys love it. The house is quieter. Billy and I don't have to lock ourselves upstairs in order to have a conversation about what bulk items we need from Costco. At bedtime we say goodnight and they don’t come into our room 10 more times to discuss why all their friends have more tech time than they do. It's their space, and they are making it their own. The girls know the upstairs is their domain, and we have informed Billy that since he's technically a boy, he should count it a privilege to be up there too.
Change is tricky. I've never been a big fan. Being a mother has helped to refine my fear and taught me that change is part of the game. I could hide away, worse, hide my kids away, and pretend that they will never be more than five feet from me, but what would that teach them? They'd never know what they can overcome, if I never let them step out and trying something new. Although I long to hold tight, I know I have to let them go. Even if it's just a few floors away.