Friday, November 5, 2010

on sharing a bedroom

if during your lifetime you find yourself blessed with two daughters, even if you live in a house the size of hearst castle, let them share a bedroom. those four walls will serve as a fortress, a refuge, and yes, a war zone at times, for your girls. when they’re young, they’ll sneak into each other’s beds and talk until midnight, making up songs and stories. they’ll set up a makeshift classroom and play school during the summer. when high school comes and things get hard, they’ll lie in the dark on their backs, talking to each other into the blackness. and it won’t always be easy. far from it. there will be times when they’ll want to be on separate continents and sharing a room sounds awful. but don’t let them separate. there is something powerful and special about sharing such a close space. 
i know. i shared a room with my sister carly growing up, though a guest room sat not three feet away, vacant the entire year except when relatives came to visit on the holidays. her first big girl bed was my twin one that we shared, and I still remember the night she moved into her own tiny bed right next to it. my entire body shook with sadness as I cried to my mom to let her stay. what followed were years of blasting our favorite CDs from our stereos, eavesdropping on each other talking on the phone in the closet, sharing clothes and secrets along the way.

she went off to college this fall and though i put on a brave face when we dropped her off, as we drove away on the highway i cried again-the same gut wrenching emotion as when she was first taken out of my bed. let them share. they’ll thank you for it. 

this is for you, carly-remember that christmas eve we were hungry and i went and got the fruit basket from under the tree? 


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