The final frontier

Big things have happened recently. And all of them involve the long-neglected nursery.

First, I finally braved the task of transitioning Charlie’s clothes from the dresser and into storage. photo 1(1)

photo 2(1)It took me two and a half years to accomplish this feat. This is a testimony that grief has no time line. In many ways, moving Charlie’s clothes out of the dresser felt like the final act of…don’t know the right word…admission that he’s truly gone? Conclusion? Moving forward? I avoided this task for so long because it was too painful for me to approach. And then I just wanted to keep the nursery HIS and sacred. It was like, if his clothes were still there, ready to be worn, then He was still here. I felt content to let this scenario continue undisrupted for an indeterminate amount of time.

But Cami has been very ready to move out of our room. We have all been suffering horrible night’s sleep with her crib six feet from our bed. Each night, multiple times a night she has been waking up, crying, and demanding to be soothed. We know she is getting molars but it is too obvious to us that this family sleeping situation is no longer working for any of us. I have felt chronically fatigued and moody the last few months as a result of all the sleep disruption. I’m sure Cami will also be happier in her own space. Chad has been the long hold out. He can sleep through most anything and he loves his little girl close. So it took some convincing to move her out of our room.

But first came the task of making the nursery into Cami’s room.

Tackling Charlie’s clothes was easier than I anticipated. I approached it on a day that was relatively quiet and stress free. On a day I knew I had the space to feel whatever I needed to feel. And while it was sad, and certainly not easy, it was also, OK. Touching Charlie’s clothes and remembering him reinforced my desire to make a project with his clothes; a project I hope to embark upon soon. Pursuing this project makes me happy to know his clothes won’t sit for long in a sterile, transparent plastic storage box.

It also felt nice to move Cami’s clothes into the nursery from their previous location in their own sterile storage box in the living room.

photo 3(2)To my surprise, I didn’t feel like I was replacing Charlie. In fact, it felt like I was making room for both of them; allowing their lives to overlap and intersect in this sacred place.

The next project I immediately embarked on is decorating the nursery. We have lived here for over four years and I have never finished the nursery! As I contemplated moving Cami in there, I felt this strong need to make this room special. A room that celebrates Cami and also Hailee and Charlie.

The first step: paint an accent wall.

photo 4(2)It was hard to choose a paint color, but we did! One night our old nanny/friend Mel came over and helped me put on the first coat of paint. About a week later I put on a second coat and did my best to cover any spots we originally missed. So the accent wall is complete! But I’m not going to post a photo of it until the room is decorated because I like surprises!

And then, the final big step: Last night was Cami’s first night sleeping in the nursery! Chad moved the crib in yesterday morning and we used her naps to ease the transition into this “strange” room. We prepared ourselves for a horrible night, anticipating Cami’s sadness and confusion about no longer being in our room. But to our amazement SHE SLEPT THE WHOLE NIGHT! The only hiccup was that the Snuza alarm went off. (Yes, we still have her wearing the Snuza even though she’s almost 16 months). This event panicked us but Cami was totally fine and readily went back to sleep.

So at almost 16-months, Cami is finally moved into her own room. This may seem like a long overdue transition to many people, maybe even most people. But one thing I’ve learned in this process of having a rainbow: we do what is best for our family and only we can determine that. Yes, we let anxiety dictate having Cami in our room for so long. But we did what we did to stay sane. And we loved our time together, the three of us, (and sometimes the four of us when Hailee would come crawl into our bed in the early morning hours). Despite the sleep deprivation, it’s been a wonderful 15+ months! We miss having her so close by but are excited for the possibility of DECENT SLEEP! Fingers crossed that last night wasn’t just a jinx but a true seamless transition!