I love her dearly.
She has been living too far away from me for 4 years.
I have been to visit her twice but now she has moved just an hours drive away from me.
So for her birthday - that I missed because she was still far away, I promised to help her decorate her new bedroom when she moved.
As you know June and July have been a bit loopy around these parts but when I get a new idea or a new project I get pretty excited.
Despite the other things I probably should have been doing I got very jazzed up about this decorating project.
Suddenly I was bidding on desks and decorative elements on the FB bidding sites and driving hither and yon to pick up furniture and decals and frames and pretty paper and paint.....
My friend, it turns out, had some pretty firm ideas about her room too.
This would not be in the least bit surprising if you knew her.
She is strong minded and very creative.
So I followed the list she made of what elements were needed and while I did the bigger projects myself I kept some of the smaller ones to do with her.
So Monday arrived (after they moved in on Sunday) and I hit the highway, my mazda loaded to the hilt and soon I arrived to much excitement and hugs and instructions...
Because that is what 7 year olds do so well.
I spent the loveliest day doing arts and crafts with Miss Penelope and her totally adorable sibling Mr Parker. And with huge help from the much beloved parents of this duo the room took shape just as I had hoped it would.
Miss P was so very excited - except when she was mad about something we did. Fatigue and transitions and excitement make for a somewhat emotional messiness. Mr P was annoyed all day at the lack of attention his room was getting but his birthday is still to come - a fact that did nothing to alleviate his annoyance.
The P's were helpful most of the time
I so loved their constant chatter and their delight on a hot day, in a chaotic house. I particularly loved the multiple times Mr P exclaimed his genuine joy that he had found an item that was "exactly like the one he had at his old house". His ever patient Mother tried to explain it was the actual item lovingly packed and driven across the land but he had trouble with the concept and so we just enjoyed his delight at all these "new" found items.
When I left, after so many hugs my hug tank was overflowing, I drove away with a very happy heart. To have such a lovely friend relationship with this 7 year old is a testament to her parents and their generosity with her and with me. It is no small thing to allow a person outside your family to love your kids dearly and I take it as a precious privilege.
It was a fantastic break from regular work and so wonderful to just spend time puttering away with dear ones. The week since has blown in so many spectacular ways at work that I have, more than once, wondered if there was a market in decorating little girls rooms in pink and gold.
Alas - I think I only really enjoyed it because it was this particular little girl and truth be told I am not sure putting gold dots on the wall wouldn't wear thin after a while (although Mr P was extremely miffed I wouldn't put them on his wall too...."they are just dots Nicky - eyeroll- how can they just be for girls? Good question but not one I was ready to do 5 rounds with a 4 year old on:)
Thank you G and L for all YOUR work painting and putting furniture together and installing the draw pulls and most of all for letting me be part of your family.
I love you all.
Room before and after