Today is my last day to have a seven year old. Tomorrow, I will have two tweens in the house.
I love seven because it’s a magic number. But eight sounds so composed, so balanced, so very sensible. I think I’m going to love eight too.
Growing up, my bedroom was the cosiest, safest place on earth. Lying cocooned in my bed under the eaves, listening to the wind howl outside or the rain lash against the window, nothing could harm me. I felt all the warmer for it. I may have had the usual childhood preoccupations with how I would jump out the window if there were robbers or a fire, but storms never bothered me. Our house was sturdy. My daddy had built it, so it couldn’t be moreso.
Really. My dad bought a leftover plot of land in the 60s, awkwardly shaped because someone had miscalculated the spaces for houses in that cul-de-sac, and built a house on it. He had a contractor lay the foundations but the rest he did with his own hands, a little at a time. I don’t know how long it took him, but it was a work in progress for my whole life, and he’d probably say it still is. There are always little modifications, little improvements and updates to be done, a shelf here, a window there, even a big project now and then. He even outsources the work sometimes these days, now that he’s 84.
Dash decided to give his bedroom a makeover recently by moving the bed to a different wall and changing everything else around accordingly. Where before he had a window just beyond the foot of his bed, now he has one right beside him and at just the height of his mini-loft. He can gaze out at the lights of the houses below us twinkling in the darkness all night, if he so desires. (I told him it would be colder by the window, but I suppose that won’t really be an issue till next winter now.)
Of course, Mabel had to move her bed around her room to match, and now she can see out her window by standing on the bed. So long as nobody’s climbing out their windows, I’m fine with that.
Dash will be eight tomorrow. Eight years ago tonight I was, well, the same person I am now. But so much was to come. So much has happened. It feels like a lifetime ago to me, but it’s his lifetime, not mine. He’s totally a person in his own right now. He’s the one snug in his bed, gazing at the lights, just beginning.