When we first told Della and Dallas that we were going to move, they had two questions. The first was – were we bringing their toys. The second was – were we bringing their bed. When I converted one of our bedrooms to an office for me, I put a daybed with a trundle in the room for their sleepovers. For the first few years, it was just Della sleeping in there with Dallas in a portable crib in our room. Now, Della sleeps on the top bed and Dallas takes the trundle. They spend the first 20 minutes after bedtime giggling and jumping from the top to the bottom until they finally fall asleep. We assured them the toys and their bed would go to the new house.
I was 18 years old the first time I had a bed to myself. Growing up, the places we lived afforded little space and so I shared a bed with my sister for my entire childhood. My twin dorm room bed was the first I would sleep in alone. From there, I graduated to studio apartments with a mattress on the floor and eventually to a real bed on a box spring and bed frame.
When Michael and I bought our house and started raising the girls, our bedroom was the last place we considered when making decisions about buying furniture. We were fortunate to have pieces handed down to us from various relatives and were never uncomfortable, but there was always someplace else to spend that part of our budget – cribs, sofas, tables, chairs – an actual bedroom set for us seemed silly in comparison to the other needs/wants.
As the girls grew up and moved out, we still didn’t do anything about bedroom furniture. We converted their bedrooms to offices and spruced up our other furnishings and rooms. When it came time to sell the house and move, it was decided that we would finally get bedroom furniture – things that were purchased intentionally, pieces that actually go together. After a few hits and misses, we found the furniture we liked and it was delivered just days after our move.
This weekend, we put the finishing touches on our new bedroom – we hung blinds, curtain rods and curtains (and are still speaking to each other) and put away all the extraneous boxes and leftovers from the move. It is the kind of space I’ve always wanted and thanks to my sister’s endless patience and expertise, it is designed and styled perfectly. I find myself going to the doorway and just staring at it.
For many people, and especially children, a comfortable place to lay one’s head can be a luxury they can’t imagine. A bed of your own can easily go to the bottom of the priority list when the basics of food and shelter are in question. Thanks to a local organization, this does not have to be the case for children in the south suburbs. Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a non-profit group in Oak Forest whose motto is “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” Through the donations and labor of sponsors and volunteers, this group builds and delivers beds and bedding to children and families in need. I am delighted to designate our September pie sale proceeds to Sleep in Heavenly Peace. For more information on this group, you can follow the local group on Facebook @oakforestSHP or on the national website at www.shpbeds.org