Their Space



I’m conflicted about the state of my daughters’ bedrooms. They are thirteen and their rooms are a perpetual state of mess. One occasionally gets tired of her own mess and picks up. Her twin does not.

I have always been a little OCD. Well, OK, maybe a lot. As a child my bedroom was freakishly neat. The books on my shelf were arranged alphabetically by author. My shirts were hung in my closet in color order. I was the only child of very neat parents. 

In a way, I’m glad my girls weren’t cursed with my OCD gene. It can be suffocating. But … it would be nice to occasionally be able to see the floor of their bedrooms.

I’ve gone back and forth with wanting them to rake their rooms. Their mess drives my husband insane. Me, too, to a lesser degree, which is surprising. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that their bedrooms are their space. What looks like chaos to me is cozy to them. What looks like trash to me are treasures to them.

In about five years they will be in college. Their rooms will be empty shells waiting for them to come home over breaks. I already know I’ll miss the wet towels on the floor, the open dresser drawers, the stacks of papers on the desks, the contraband food under the bed, and their “treasures” cluttering their dresser tops. 

We can re-paint and re-carpet their rooms. But for now, they need their safe spaces, where they are free to express themselves. And so if it gets too messy for me, I can just close their bedroom doors.


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