I feel like I’ve been witness to several break ups lately. They are mostly insignificant, mind you but still, I owe them some acknowledgement.
The first break up — which I have outwardly chosen to downplay — is that my girls, ages almost-seven (in a week-and-a-half) and three, are no longer roommates.
They’ve made the split to separate rooms. My husband and I spent Sunday moving and rearranging furniture and reorganizing little clothes so my oldest could have the one and only thing she wants for 7th birthday: Her own room — and the privacy that comes with one’s own turf.
It amuses me that already, at age seven, she’s seeking privacy. However, she’s also gravitating toward secret diaries and notes (like the example here), the same way I did at who knows what age. I still love a notebook or journal, even if I’m only using it to make a grocery list.
I have to let her have it, this space she craves. I understand it and crave it for myself, still, in my late 30s. I think it’s one of the biggest reasons why why I run: The momentary solitude it allows. You see, I can carve out that little bit of time for myself when no one needs me and no one wants me. It’s just me getting myself through the paces with every stride. I can think of everything and I can think of nothing — and often, I let both consume me while I run. Then, when it’s over, my life and loves are there for me. And, I swear, I’m better at being there for them if I can run.
And now, with her own room, my sweet Bean can close out the “burdensome” world, which to her is manifest in the form of a 3-year-old sibling still learning how to have gentle hands. She can do whatever it is she wants to do. Right now, she wants to read; dance to bad music; read a little more; play with Barbies; write stories; make art; and read, again, uninterrupted, draped over her bed.
And we’re less than 48 hours into this…
I worry, though, about my 3-year-old. She loves her room. Honestly, she got the better end of this deal. She got what was their playroom: A huge bedroom that rivals our home’s master bedroom in size. It’s got great light and the bulk of the toys have stayed in this room.
Her reaction to seeing it “finished” after we moved furniture and toys all morning was that of pure awe.
“This is my room?” she asked us.
“It’s all yours,” we told her.
“It’s so amazing,” she responded. “I never thought my room would have this much amazing.” And when she said it, she used her awe-struck, I’m-3-years-old inflections that are unrivaled, to date, in cuteness.
It’s the other door — the door to her old, shared room — that’s hard to explain in all of this. That door is closed.
I worry that my youngest feels rejected — because she certainly felt that yesterday after “the move” was complete. The Bean spent the afternoon setting up shop and actually locked her door to keep our her adoring public.
While little sister felt rejected, I think my husband and I felt our first — and, yes, somewhat premature — pangs of what the heartache of having our girls getting older will feel like. Is this what the teenage years have in store for us? Locked doors, loud music, a little bit of ‘tude and a whole lotta worry as to whether to we’re letting her have/do too much too soon?
I guess separate rooms is more than a break up for the two of them. I’m feeling it, too. But, at least for now, when I knock, she happily lets me in. She is all smiles and shows me the little treasures she’s hiding away — from no one and everyone.
She let’s me in, closes the door behind me, and proudly shares her new, solitary world with me. I cherish it. And I hope I’m this lucky a decade from now to be welcomed in.
So after that, I guess the other break ups don’t seem as significant:
My shoes: Goodbye, minimalist running shoes. Hello, old friend — Asics Kayanos — I promise not stray again. These are sort of an upgrade; my old Asics were the Kayano 17s and these are 19s, and they have some definite style points working in their favor. I’m breaking up with my minimal shoes, as they were the culprit of my calf and shin pain that plagued my running throughout April. Lesson learned: Don’t cheat on a good thing.
- Sporadic running and eating: In my last post I mentioned my plan for June, which is to cut out a significant amount of processed foods and to do more cross training and training runs (tempo, hills, pace, mile repeats). So, in a way, I’m breaking up with the bad habits I picked up over the last couple of months of low miles and unfocused workouts. I cannot tell you how strong my legs are from nearly six months of daily running, but I need to make some big dietary and cross training changes to see the results I set out for in January.
After a long holiday weekend, I’m looking forward to my half marathon on Saturday with KHP, the weekend getaway with my husband, a visit from my parents, and my Bean’s birthday celebration. I have a lot of good things to ease me into the changes I’m forcing on myself in June. And, it’s plenty of change that will help cushion the blow of all these break ups.