Another Last Time Comes Suddenly

I changed the linens in the boys’ bedroom this week, and it was the last time I would make up my oldest child’s bed with sheets with cartoon characters on them.

They’ve had Spider-Man, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mario, or Star Wars sheets on their beds ever since they had big boy beds. Oh, and how delighted they were when I would spend twenty bucks at the Walmart to pick up a new set and they would come home to vivid new colors and heroes. They were easy to delight when they were young.

They started out in separate bedrooms with their cribs and then their big boy beds–a set of bunk beds separated by a wall. A couple years ago, we moved them into a room together and activated the bunk bed feature of the bunk beds. We made the corner bedroom into a guest bedroom and painted it a pleasant orange, but we never got around to decorating it with wall hangings. It idled, as we haven’t had many guests to Nogglestead in recent years. Mostly, the boys used it as a playroom as their extensive Lego holdings resided in that closet.

This summer, though, as my wife thought she would spend a lot of time in the room after recent surgery, she ordered some art from a catalog, and I put them up. She didn’t end up spending much time in that room after all, but we’ve decided to again separate the boys into separate bedrooms, and the oldest will get the former guest bedroom and its full-sized bed.

So he’ll go to bed with adult sheets now and forever more (unless he’s a modern young man who might end up with cartoon sheets in adulthood). I guess it’s fitting; at 13, he has moved into adult-sized clothes that his mother often puts into my drawers.

But it puts one in a melancholy mood to start the morning. My children are growing up, and most of our lives will be spent apart.

A melancholy solved by actual exposure to those siblings who begin squabbling the minute they awaken (hence the separate bedrooms soon). Suddenly, I’m Can I send them to military school starting today?