The nature of gifts change as our children grow, and we're not buying boxes of Legos for birthday gifts anymore...sniff. For some reason this birthday felt different (and fear not, I'm already worried about how we'll handle THIRTEEN), what with turning twelve and entering 6th grade and all. At Callum's school it's not middle school, but oh lordy it's close. Anyway. This year felt milestoney somehow and we wanted to honor what a big deal turing tween seemed to be.
We've been joking for years that when Callum became a teenager he'd move into our third floor attic, fondly referred to as the "soft stairs." Callum named it when we moved in because it's the only room in our house that has carpet. But let's face it folks, I don't think he'll ever sleep up there.
What he might do however, is play up there.
And I guess that's what I mean when I say that things have changed. He plays differently now. Friends running in and out, the Wii or X-box on. So maybe a growing up kind of boy needs a growing up kind of space for himself.
Trouble is, our attic has been looking like this.
I apologize for the iPhone photo. And I have to admit that this picture was taken not at the beginning of the clearing out process, but part way through it. Pretty scary, huh? We've just been throwing stuff up into that cave for years. I swear I could feel the weight of all that crap just bearing down on me, you know?
So what did we do on our summer vacation?
We cleaned out the attic! We knew we couldn't manage this as a surprise, and we wanted Callum to be involved in every step of the way. As soon as he picked the paint color (Pier 14 by Valspar at Lowes), we started the big clear out. After that the big paint. As soon as the walls were covered, we kicked Callum out to do the rest and surprise him on his birthday.
We still have some work to do. Hook up the X-Box and a DVD player, touch up some paint. And isn't Callum's paint choice inspired? I never would have gone in that direction, but it totally makes the room. We had red velvet birthday cake and watched the Phillies on the donated flat screen (thanks, Tyler!). I'm so happy about this space for him. The Wii will stay downstairs, so hopefully we'll still see him sometimes, but in the meantime, this is good. Really good.
And in case you thought we'd had enough celebrating around here, today's my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom!