Our eldest son turned nine yesterday. It felt pretty big - halfway to 18 and adulthood. When he came home from school on Friday I walked him into his new bedroom. It was the first time he had slept in a room by himself since I started tucking his baby brother in beside him when he was three. He said it felt a little bit lonely but by sunrise that brother had tiptoed across the hallway and climbed, giggling, in beside him.
In the endless game of musical beds we play around here, we will be moving Thea down the hall from our room to sleep with her big brothers. Her clothes have moved out of the little cabinet in the hallway too, and into the drawers and wardrobe in the kids' room. Lewis now shares the room I use as a writing and sewing space with me - I have the front half during school hours and he inhabits the back half when he is home. I think it will work.
I had been gathering bits and pieces to make the space his own for the past six months. Sewing curtains, and a cushion to pad the top of our old toy chest, and pestering Grant to mount some old (and endearingly misspelled) wooden packing cases on the wall. They now house Lewis' collection of fantasy books, lego constructions and general ephemera. A watercolour decal of a soft grey rabbit, rather like his old pet bunny Storm, was stuck on just before he got home.
We took him ten pin bowling with five of his friends to celebrate his birthday, and he came home with a battered old bowling pin as a souvenir. I found the pin tucked in next to him when I went to kiss him goodnight. "Today was the best day of my life," he told me in a voice full of joy. "It was like going to the Royal Show and then a Dockers' game; it was that good."