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Daughters

The New Mother-Daughter Tradition I Started

room

On a recent weekend, my family of five drove 17 hours to pick up my childhood bedroom furniture from my mother’s house. It has been sitting in pristine condition for over 30 years, in the same exact room I slept in from the age of three.

Now, my three-year-old twins are newly potty trained, so they have earned the freedom to use the facilities at all hours. This means we can no longer keep them in their baby cages (ahem, cribs). And as it goes with multiples, you need to buy more than one of everything, something which I am becoming used to.

But the thought of buying two beds does not appeal to me—and this was not about the cost. Since the thought of needing to buy “big girl” furniture entered my mind, I have not been able to get my own childhood bedroom set out of my head. I could not shake the image of seeing my daughters use the same bed I slept in for the entirety of my upbringing.

Why did I feel so strongly about having my childhood furniture in my adult home, effectively packing it up and hauling it over 400 miles away? Like a lost puppy finding its way home to its rightful owners long after they moved away, I felt like it belonged in my daughters’ bedroom.

Growing up to become a confident woman is not an easy journey, especially in our current political climate. My furniture was with me through every childhood tantrum, teenage outburst, silent treatment, tearful meltdown—then ultimately the beginning maturity and the realization the world does not revolve around me!

Often, I would rush to my bedroom and slam my door to collapse on my bed in a puddle of tears. This is where I felt like the world was coming to an end, and I just let it all out in heaving sobs into my four-post canopy bed. I carefully organized my nightstand and placed my diary in it just so I would know if someone touched it, indicating an unlawful reader of my most private thoughts.

I spent hours at my desk studying for middle school tests or writing the beginnings of a book I would surely publish one day. My bookshelves were home to childhood favorites like Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”, then “To Kill a Mockingbird,” esoteric Russian novels, and finally dense college chemistry textbooks.

At the first sound of a song starting on the radio, I would rush to my dresser to push “record” on my three-piece boom box to add to my next epic mixtape. I carefully tucked signed yearbooks, photos of friends and then ex-boyfriends safely in my drawers.

The hardwood of my bedroom furniture absorbed my life events. It has provided a steadfast comfort through every phase of my young life. This furniture has been a constant in every experience I had before meeting my husband and then becoming a mother to three daughters myself.

I love this furniture not only because it’s well made and has stood the test of time.

I love it and I like to think it will continue to serve as a constant comfort to my girls growing up now the way it did for me thirty years ago. The world is changing faster than I can keep up with (I know, every parent says this, but clichés are true for a reason), and like all kids growing up, they will feel the highs and lows of life, and this furniture will be there for them.

Right now, it will welcome them to their “big girl” room, but I know it will be there well past the moment they become women and (God willing) one day, mothers too.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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