Still, I moved on with the day trying to maintain peace within myself. As I filed through her old toys and the various quantities of junk that made it onto her floor, I choked up on a few occasions. It wasn't that I was brought back to fond memories of her infancy because in all honesty I don't have many fond memories of her infancy. I was cleaning out the crud from my life just as much as her life and we were both moving on to bigger and better things.
Slowly I pushed out all of the trash, the dirt, the broken pieces of a dozen unused toys and worthless babbles and cleared the way for things that had meaning. I hung my mother's cross stitch pictures, two of my favorites, above my mother's cedar chest that keeps Addie's clothes. They all fit so perfectly together.
Clean sheets draped over my old mattress with two soft pillows to rest her new doll and her favorite stuffy on. I laid out one of her favorite blankets, another handcrafted gem from my mother. Above the bed is yet another cross stitched picture with a button from my grandmother's button collection. Above that is a name sign I made, although I realize it doesn't look that great. I don't claim to be good at crafting.
The doll that I anguished over for quite some time and still deem to be a piece of crap is wearing clothes my grandmother made for my dolls when I was young. It's one of those rare times when I'm thankful my mom hung on to something I insisted upon throwing away. I don't like my grandmother for a number of reasons and I don't even remember the last time I spoke to her, but I've come to appreciate the handmade doll clothes.
I did up her room yesterday while Zach took Addie with his family out to a baseball game. It was an odd day to say the least. Something shifted in me yesterday and I can't even tell exactly what it was.
At first I wasn't sure how I wanted to make her name sign, something I had been plotting to do for months. I decided to go outside to our big maple tree and see if there were even any good branches to use for it and after looking for a bit, there it was, a dead branch the perfect size and thickness hanging just into my reach. It was a sign that I was on the right track.
Cleaning her room went smoothly. I took great care in vacuuming and dusting and polishing. Bringing a shine back to the cedar chest was especially delightful.
The light had begun to fade from the room as I pulled fresh warm sheets out of the dryer and brought them to her bed. I noticed the heater in her room had turned on. It wasn't obvious to me how cold it had gotten in there from running around so much. With everything put back together, I laid out the pillows and the blanket. Athena curled up on the corner and watched me put the finishing touches on Addie's new doll. Just as I finished the doll and laid it down on the pillow, the warmth of the room touched me and I cried a moment.
I've spent so much of Addie's life being sad for so many different reasons. It's not even that I was depressed all the time, but motherhood hit me like a train when my life was already on shakey ground. To come to that exact moment in time and her room is completely finished at that perfect second just felt so powerful, as dumb as that might sound. I didn't force anything, I didn't fret about all the failed plans I had to make her room spectacular or all the toys I wanted her to have but she didn't. And it all came together, perfectly, and was done without any angst or anger.