Gypsy's Travels

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Room of My Own

.....and here is the rest of the story....

We had a four bedroom house, not quite large enough for each child to have his / her own bedroom. By default as the only male child, DS had his own room. Kr was older than the rest so she had one, and the two younger girls, Ko & Ki, shared a room. When Ko & Ki were old enough to realize what was going on, the requests for "a room of my own" became incessant. I tried all the usual tactics, including appealing to their sisterly love for each other, and stories of how neither their father nor I had had our own rooms until we were living on our own.

"Please," Ko begged, "I don't need much space. Just let me have a spot in the laundry room, it has a door."
"There is hardly room for the washer and dryer, which gets daily use, much less a bed," I explained.
"We could get a blow-up mattress, and I could keep my clothes in a basket," she countered.

Of course the idea was more than ridiculous but it did drive home her desire for her own space. I knew what she was going through. I once got so mad at my sister when we we shared a room while growing up, that I put a string down the middle of our room and dared her to cross over into "my space" unless she was entering or leaving the room. She did a lot coming and going that day.

"When Kr leaves, then one of you can move into her room," I told them. I felt a twinge of disloyalty. It didn't seem fair that going away to school should deprive one of the allocated space at home. On the other hand, it didn't seem fair to have an empty room while two people had to share. I wrestled with, what I was sure was, an age-old problem.

On a hot, humid day in August 1983, we prepared to take Kr to the airport for her exciting year as an exchange student in Germany. Ko & Ki were happily busy in their room chatting, packing, and moving things around.
"Get ready to go to the airport, girls," I admonished them.
"Oh, we will just stay here," they said.
"No. you won't," I countered.
"But we want to be ready!" they said.
"Ready for what?" I asked.
"Well, you said as soon as Kr moved out of her room, one of us could have it, so Ki is moving into it. We'll do it while you take Kr to the airport."

I don't remember exactly how I handled that. I do know I was mentally trying to deal with the idea that I was sending a, still young, daughter off to a foreign land for a whole year out of arm's reach of our direct supervision, while trying to convince myself that we had done our best in laying the groundwork for her principles and values.

"You will go to the airport with us to see your sister off!" I told them . "When we get back, we will discuss the move."

There was a definite air of excitement in the car as we headed home. We arrived and the two girls raced up the stairs to begin moving Ki into her older sister's room. For several years, Ki had to spend time in Ko's room when Kr was home, as was originally agreed. Eventually, the room defaulted to Ki.

Somehow, activity always seemed to ease the "empty nest" syndrome.


  1. Your DH and I got our first room when our Dad and I built one in the garage/barn. This lasted until Uncle Sam called and I left home and the room was his.

    Now with our girls gone, we have two vacant bedrooms.

  2. I remember that I had a mattress on the floor when Kr came home from overseas and college....

    I also remember being oh so sick with strep throat and Kr waking me up ever so sweetly to have me take my medicine and eat something, saying very softly, "Your banana is calling youuuuuuuuuu..."

  3. I have almost always had my own bedroom but sometimes it was like sleeping outside as they were never heated in the winter..


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