27 January 2010

On Hair Clips, Chaos & Memories.

Photos from the past month are up on Flickr.

My room is trashed. Yesterday I wrote on Twitter: "I think RadioShack, Linens N Things and my campus library had a wild drunken #threesome in my room and left me to clean up after their mess." Looking at it from my vantage point at my desk, it seems even worse than it did then. The mess flows haphazardly from the bed (which is surprisingly made) down onto the floor, cascades up onto my desk, end table, bookshelf and has somehow found its way into my closet.

I don't usually leave my room in this sad state. Ever.

It's probably because I haven't really "settled in" quite yet. I mean, I physically moved here at the end of last month, but when you share your room with a 3-year-old, her stuff ends up quickly and completely kicking your stuff's ass. In addition to piles of pastel-colored clothes, my bedroom was overrun with Veronica's Eric Carle books, balloons, Hello Kitty hair clips, and a crazy assortment of toys and various knick-knacks that she happened to bring in from other parts of the house.

It is no secret that I am unabashedly anti-knick-knack.

So I tried to fight it at first, and fight it hard. I systematically re-arranged my closet to accommodate two wardrobes and designated a proper drawer for the crayons. I stacked up library books and notepads according to size and slyly rotated toys in and out of use. I thought I was being clever, but I thought wrong. It was too much. Turns out that I'm not very good at winning battles of attrition when the theater of war was confined to my bedroom. Socks and gloves appeared in random places. There was a never-ending hunt for scrunchies and barrettes:
  1. ME: "Well, where did you put it last?"
  2. VERONICA: "I don't know."
  3. Repeat every hour or so.
But here's the thing: It was actually kind of refreshing to let go, to revel in the chaos of happy disorganization. Strangely, the near-constant mess was a way to connect with Veronica, to remember what being a child was like, to be care-free about things that really didn't matter that much. So I learned to accept the mess and even enjoy it a little. Because in light of the precious limited time we had together, the mess didn't matter that much at all. In fact, it became a symbol of her visit and the joy it brought me.

Veronica is traveling with my sister and her baby today, so she couldn't take all of her things with her due to luggage constraints. My bedroom is still filled with knick-knacks, toys, books and clothes -- and I know I'll find a hair clip before long. But I have been slow to clean up my room. I know I'll have to soon for practicality's sake, but it can wait for a couple of days.

Just ... not yet.

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