When Your Teenager’s Mess is Part of the Magic

My two daughters are having what will surely end up being a summer long “sleep over” in our basement where it’s cool and dark, perfect for their adolescent sleep patterns. After 5 years of trial and error, not knowing what to “do” with that space, It’s finally set up in a way that satisfies that itch in me. (I gotta say, it looks pretty great.) Now it’s strewn with sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, books, night lights, assorted make-up, ipods, power-cords, and what-not, totally discounting my decorating details.

Of course, this means that, for the foreseeable future their separate bedrooms will be nothing but dumping grounds and changing stations as more and more of their “stuff” mysteriously transports downstairs. I’ll practice exhaling slowly when I walk by their bedroom doors and keep my comments to myself as long as I can. I won’t trade the laughs and giggles, the reconnected sister relationship that blooms in the late hours of the night in our lower level. With summer they’re spending more time together, without the stress of school work and the separation of different schools. Oh, there’s still the disagreements and the complaining (they are teenagers, after all). But come dark, they’re reconnecting in a magical way and the chaos and clutter are the smoke that hides the magician’s trick. I’ve been to this show before and I know it won’t last forever. So, I’ll enjoy my balcony seat and smile at the giggles from the orchestra pit.