What do I see when I look at the picture above?
In functional terms I see a construction project nearing completion. I see what used to be our garage, converted into a 4.5×4-metre space which will serve a more useful purpose than being just a very large junk room and the holding station for rubbish due to be taken to the tip.
The boys see it in terms of its initial designated use: a playroom in which all their toys can be stored in one place (as opposed to crammed into every last nook and cranny around the house) and left out for as long as they like without having to put everything away every evening. They are very excited, and since the new wood floor was laid yesterday they have been asking “Is our playroom ready yet?” approximately once every 2½ minutes.
A famous philosopher once said:
I feel so good in your room
Let’s lock the world out
Actually it was 1980 girls’ pop group The Bangles, but substitute ‘our’ for ‘your’ and it sums up the boys’ feelings pretty well.
Kara sees it as the world’s largest rolling mat. And, given how much the currently empty room echoes, an amusing source of sonic entertainment.
Heather and I see it as an opportunity to reclaim our living room and to lock the boys’ world in. In the longer-term, should it ever be required, it might be part-converted into a bedroom for use by an infirm grandparent. Or a family den. Or any one of a number of options.
I also see it as a blessed opportunity to avoid all those disputes about whether our main TV in the living room should prioritise CBeebies over the Arsenal game. (I’m the only member of the household who believes the answer to that particular question is ‘no’.) And, being the great believer in retail therapy and the healing powers of gadget-buying that I am, I’m looking forward to kitting out the room for
myself the boys. HD TV for starters, to be followed by a DVD player, PVR and eventually the next-generation XBox.
Most of all, six years (to the day, as it happens) after we moved into the house – with no kids, Heather unknowingly less than a month pregnant with Isaac and with the practical benefits of owning a people-carrier not even a speck on the radar – it now finally feels like we are just a week or so away from having our complete family home.
It may just be one room, but our little world is full of possibilities once more.