Our house has three bedrooms, but we only sleep in two of them. Thea sleeps with us (and will do for at least another year, if she follows her brothers' example) and the boys share the original master bedroom. Their bunks and bed, wardrobe and dresser fit neatly into the wide old room, which steps down into the old verandah that doubles as their playroom. If the room wasn't quite so big this little house of ours might start to feel cramped. But it seems there are just enough spaces for everyone and everything to find its place.
I am not normally a fan of enclosing the wide verandahs that used to wrap around most houses in this country. But all the changes that have been made to this house have been so thoughtfully considered that the space works better than it must have originally. A second, bigger, verandah - where we now do much of our living year round - replaced the one which had been enclosed for more living space. We just pulled off a few sheets of tin roofing, replacing them with clear perspex, and cut back the rose vines to let in the winter sun.
There are usually train tracks or cars racing across this patch of floor, costumes and play cloths strewn from wall to wall. But the disorder is contained by that one little step, which stops the toys from creeping into the 'calm' sleeping space. Our old china cabinet became their bookshelf after its doors were ripped off by a winter storm (the cabinet had been sitting on the verandah while we tried to sell it, and it was only once the doors came unhinged that I saw its true potential), the ever present box of lego sliding neatly beneath.
My old patchwork blanket covers Lewis' bed, those same scraps of fabric I remember from my old childhood now etching memories in his own. And beyond the old leadlight windows lie the paddocks and forest. The stuff dreams are made of.