Oh, I have been nesting something fierce, let me tell you! With this fourth baby due next month, I've come to realize that getting ready for her birth is not so much about things to do for her (babies really don't need much, no matter what some people tell you), and more about getting the other kids ready. Which for us has meant freshening up a bedroom just for them. I love looking at how others make their homes and bring ordinary beauty into their spaces, but I admit I've been reluctant to share that here, as I just don't see it as my particular talent! But, I do like how this room came together. And the evolution of how the kids are growing together has been particularly comforting for me lately. Apparently, having three children (especially as close in age as ours) is considered a little nutty, and having four means we've completely gone off the deep end. Mostly I think people tend to be concerned about how the kids are provided for - Do they each get enough attention? What about the division of resources? How do we handle not having much extended family support? And on and on....And honestly, I've contemplated all these things before, too. The answer to these questions really comes down to this: I ask for the grace to live together with generous love, and I try to remain in a place of gratitude for each day I'm given to try again. And oftentimes what I see are thriving kids - they're growing up eating food we cultivated, caring for all manner of animals, playing in wide open spaces, pursuing their passions with freedom, and I don't see them as lacking in any way that really matters. Quite the opposite, actually!
But, enough of all that - back to their room! We're stuck with this
terrible blue carpet and a mystery stain I can't seem to get out, but
that's okay. I'm not aiming for perfection here, just better. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim did wonders. I
installed new screens on the windows, which can now be opened without
bugs finding their way in. I've kept things decidedly very simple. Just
their beds and clothes.
I found each of them a sweet "new" (thrifted)
pillowcase, and we hung a few special pictures that belonged to my
grandmother. They each have their own knitted baby blankets, and one
dresser drawer which houses their in-season clothing. The out-of-season
clothes and hand-me-downs are all in the closet. I'm contemplating
hanging a curtain there, maybe?
I'm anti-nightlight, as I just feel children (adults, too) sleep better without any artificial light. (There's research
on this actually), but they do have a little candle on their dresser in
case they need it for awhile in the beginning of the night. I'm a
strong believer that kids need plenty of restful sleep for their
well-being. The kids bring toys and books in throughout the day, but we
aim to clear all that out before nightfall.
The weather if shifting, and soon these beds will need some quilts! I'd love to learn how to make a grandmother's flower garden quilt for the girls' beds, and am thinking about some kind of arrow design for my little boy.
I know some may see this space as sparse, but it's been very nurturing and peaceful for all of us. The children fill it with the immaterial - little acts of love - and I'm reminded that the people in a place make it a home, not the things collected. Our littlest one gets up a few times as part of the bedtime ritual, toddling over to her brother's bed
for just one more kiss and her nightly "I wuv you." The biggest sister
offers room in her bed, asking if anyone needs to cuddle for a bit. When everyone's snuggled in, we make up stories until they drift off to sleep. I
try to remember these things when I haven't been the best mama, or when I
get those judgemental looks from others about the size of our family.
And I rest in the feeling that we're doing just fine.