There are two bedrooms in our home. One bathroom. And at one point (okay three points), we planned to convert space to a third bedroom. In an if-you-build-it-they-will-come sort of spirit, at one point (okay three points), we even moved our king-sized bed into that space. Yes, my bed was in the living room.
Some of you might even remember celebrating my daughter’s first birthday with a bed in the living room. Awkward? Maybe, but we didn’t care.
Across the three spaces, we have rotated three rooms: ours, hers, and an office space. So, I have the enjoyed the scenery out of each room upon waking.
So when my thirteen-year-old – who has been feeling the growing weight of isolation – pitched the idea of switching bedrooms on Wednesday night, I knew how it would all turn out. But that didn’t keep us from making her earn it (even just a little).
“Why do you want this bedroom?” I asked her.
“Because it’s bigger.”
“You’re going to have to do better than that,” I told her. I have, at least since she was in the fourth grade asking for a puppy, been training her for the debate team, for the court room, for moments like this.
“Well, since I’m home, I spend more time in my room. You guys just sleep in your yours, so you don’t need as much space.”
“That’s better,” I said.
Then we had to work on her dad.
“Dad, can we switch rooms?”
“I don’t think so” turned into “I don’t really care” across twenty-four hours.
And last night, as we were moving the TV stand (okay, the bookshelf turn on its side) from the big bedroom to our new bedroom, I showed her how a pro does it:
“See, now with the smaller room, you’ll be closer to the TV, which I know is important to you.” He smiled. And I turned to her, “Do you see how this works?”
“Yeah,” she said.
Today we hung the string of LEDs along the perimeter in the big bedroom, she vacuumed and is unloading the dishwasher. The rooms are switched, but the earning doesn’t end. At least not yet.
Of course, I would give her the world.
For tonight, as we commit to many, many more weeks of sharing this small box, I can give her the bigger bedroom.
Besides, the view from this room is one of my favorites.