Britney Spears sure has the pulse on where my youngest is right now in her life.
Surely not a little girl anymore, definitely not a woman.
This reflects on her clothing style, as well as her room at home. She is feeling out who she wants to be and I kind of love that. It scared me the first time I went through this with Anna because it was new territory but I’ve been here before and it’s okay. It is part of the process and we are embracing that process.
So Ella mentioned she wanted to make her room less “little girl” this summer and she had some ideas.
I don’t know if it’s purely a girl thing but my oldest daughter went through this as well.
I hate saying “girl thing” or “boy thing” because I do think it’s just a “human thing” or a “my child” thing because they have lived their lives with a mom who likes to move the furniture around (even while they sit on it), paint walls, and switch out furniture from room to room frequently.
Anna’s room changed paint color five times in the 13 years she lived in it full-time.
No wonder I hate painting.
From the original lavender the previous owners had on the wall to Bibbidy Bobbidy Blue, to Diva Pink, to Screamin’ Urine Yellow (my name for it), to the current Soft White.
I have to say, despite my hatred of the actual act of painting, I love that my children are creative and want to make the spaces they live in their own.
Ellie, however, really never asked to change her room at all until this past summer. Her room has only ever been two colors: Pepto Bismal Pink (my name for it) and a soft purple called Lavender Verbena.
When we found out she was a girl, we painted her soon-to-be builder’s white room this rosy-pink color because we were just so girl-happy.
EVERYTHING MUST BE PINK!
Then when Ella was in kindergarten, she decided she wanted a purple room. No reason, just that it had to be any type of purple.
So Mike decided he was going to paint Ella’s room purple while she was in school one gray November afternoon in 2013.
It was actually a lovely purple and Ellie loved her new “big girl” room.
But it’s now six years later and that purple was starting to look really, really bad.
In defense of her room, a lot of living had happened in those six years including adding a dog and a hamster to the mix and lots of horse models. Animals had kind of taken over in here and Ella wouldn’t have it any other way.
But one request she had made was that despite her absolute love of horses, she didn’t really need horses to be part of the theme.
Horse theme = little girl in her mind, which I get completely.
Horse theme according to retailers either equals pink and purple horseys/ unicorns OR Annie Oakley/wild wild west/ ride em’ cowboy.
There are just no mature horse-themed bedroom accessories.
The sheets don’t match anything, the curtains don’t match the sheets; they are actually from the laundry closet makeover circa 2014, of which I don’t have any pictures because of the blog migration.
Pretty much everything from the bed to the nightstand, to the curtains were hand-me-downs. Nothing originated in her room or specifically for her room.
That needed to change.
It was the week that her friends started back to public school when she decided she wanted to make the change. It was the day they got onto the bus without her when we first started painting over that purple. Painting over the past and moving onward to a new her. It felt very metaphorical. Or maybe that was the paint fumes.
She picked the paint color, Distant Star (gray) when we went to Home Depot a few weeks before. I’ve never seen her more focused in her life while deciding what she wanted in her room. I just sat back, gently guided when she needed guiding, and watched her go.
She helped me paint her room for almost an hour and a half. A lot longer than I thought she would last. Her help is how it only took one coat and three hours from start to finish.
When I sent this picture to Anna at college, she texted me that she felt bad for the view Ella had. It looked onto the houses in our neighborhood; the houses that are on top of each other. Anna’s view is the back of our home where lots of huge trees that we planted when we moved in are. I told her that Ella never noticed or complained because that’s all she’s ever known.
When Ella was a baby, the rocking chair in her room was against that window. I have a memory of sitting in that chair, feeding her, listening to the little radio in her room playing softly and me looking out at all of the houses in our neighborhood and seeing lights in all of the windows. At that time, I felt very alone with Mike being gone a lot, having a newborn, my parents living far away and coping with a tiny bit of postpartum sadness. But seeing all of the life in my neighborhood, the lights on in the tiny windows, made me feel less alone.
So really, Ella has the best view in the house, in my humble opinion.
The next day, she could hardly wait to put all of the things she had picked out, into her new room.
She couldn’t do away with all of the horses, so the beloved ones stayed as did the horseshoe my mom got her last year from Hobby Lobby.
She decided that her ribbons were the best horse-themed accessories she could think of.
It’s the perfect space for our not a girl, not yet a woman to become whomever she wants to be.
A friend of mine shared this video on Facebook last week and it felt appropriate. 🙂