Over the past year we have painted nearly every room in our house. All the rooms are now neutral colors, not counting Babygirl's brilliant Chinese red. This morning I spent a couple of hours cleaning one small room, scraping and steel wool-ing years of accidental paint blops off of the floor. Unpainting, if you will.
As I worked I let memories of each room wash over me.
Curlygirl's vibrant October-sky blue, so at odds with her then restless and angry nature! I remember shopping for room accessories - the furry blue bedspread, the gypsy-bright ribbon valances with touches of green and deep purple, and the lime green pillows and wall shelf that all came together into the most lively and energetic of spaces.
NayNay's lavender, peacefully at odds with the storm inside.
JuJuBees's quiet morning blue, accented with gentle spring greens and tiny touches of bright pink and purple, restful with a hint of the restlessness that I still see in her.
Bella's hot, hot pink. Black curtains and a black border running at chair-rail height around the room like a belt. Intense and passionate, still her trademark qualities.
LittleMan's geometric diamonds in orange and green and navy on white walls - as busy and energetic as only little boys can be.
GiGi and Babygirl's pale orange sherbet, a color I mixed myself from leftover white paint and an 'oops' color from the hardware store, sweet and girlish.
Citygirl - so many changes over the years! The white room splattered with red, yellow, green, blue! Beautiful and bright, my monkey baby. Minnie Mouse pink, then a very mature forest green with white and lilac trim - my growing young lady. And finally, vivid Caribbean blue with dark blue sponge painting low down, a most fascinating underwater effect for teen parties.
Unpainting: Rewinding blessed, sweet memories of children who are no longer little, no longer in my hands or care, but never ever ever far from my heart. Unpainting, and uncovering the truths that truly matter: Love never ends. Childhood lives forever in the hearts of those who have loved children, no matter where those children go. I will always be their mother, and they will always be my babies. Always.