We spread the old blanket across the floor and began unpacking heavy pieces from the cardboard boxes. Chad retrieved the necessary tools: a hammer, screwdriver, and power drill. I grabbed the instructions and started pulling out the first pieces of hardware from the small clear plastic bag. We were already tired but had two bed frames to put together: one for our brand new bedroom and one for our office-turned-proper-guestroom. Tonight we would tackle just one.
In the weeks leading up to our new little one, we’ve rearranged and cleaned and organized not only the baby’s room, but many rooms in the house, one project easily turning into four. To make room for some new furniture and supplies — not to mention someone new — we had to let go of a lot of the old. In a very physical way, I made trip after trip to the recycling center and donation center, dropping off carloads of cardboard and used electronics, mismatched picture frames and clothes we no longer wear.
In a less physical way, we’ve been making room in our minds and lives too. We’ve been adjusting to the idea of another person who will live and sleep and eat in this house, just as they have been living and sleeping and eating inside my belly for the past nine months. We’ve been letting go of some of the old here too as we adjust to the ideas of new schedules and responsibilities.
And with the impending deadline of a birth day, we’ve been working hard to actually finish our project of turning the attic into our new bedroom and bathroom. Our plan was to move out of our current bedroom and into this one so that the new little one has a space of its own too. Sitting on the new wood floors, freshly installed, we started bolting and screwing pieces in place to build the new platform bed. Once put together, we slide it across the floor into place and then lift and maneuver it off the blanket. We add the new mattress and slowly over the next couple days start the process of migrating our clothing and belongings upstairs. We hang a curtain across the doorway of the new bathroom, which doesn’t yet have its doors. We block off the last little unfinished spaces so that Olive Oil can enjoy the new space too, which she does immediately.
A week or so later, we bring the same navy blue blanket downstairs and start putting together a second bed frame. Another week passes and we bring the tools into the baby’s room to put together a new white crib with the help of some generous friends. Each room is slowing coming together as we purge and sort and arrange.
We finish off small projects long put off: filing bills and mending ripped clothing, hanging our diplomas and professional certificates on the walls. We close an old credit card and bank account. We weed and do laundry, cook and do the dishes. We keep life moving along, slowly adjusting our rooms and home as we also adjust our schedules and expectations for what’s next.
In the end, what we have is three bedrooms, one still maybe a little cluttered, one still left partially unfinished, but in a state that is more than livable, and one ready for a brand new occupant.
And then we wait, puttering around the house, doing one more small task each day as we realize we still have more time. We’re ready, and we’re not ready. We’re prepared, and we’re not prepared. And we know this. We know that no matter how much we organize and arrange, there will be challenges ahead. We know that no matter how much we talk things through and plan, there will be things we couldn’t have expected. It’s okay. We’ll get through. Together.