Taking Avery's room apart to make it Harpers was so much harder than expected. Over the last 17+ months I've had a love hate relationship with that room. After we lost Avery, I hated going into her room. I was a stark reminder of a future lost. Over time, it became my sanctuary. I would spend hours sitting in the rocking chair, writing to her and reading. It became a place where I felt close to her. It was her room. But as the weeks turned into months, I found myself in the room less and less. It became a place where we kept her belongings and momentous we had gathered.
In the last 2 months, Harpers things have slowly been added and honestly the room was a cluttered mess. This weekend was the weekend to make the transition. To transform Avery's room into Harper's room. Thanksgiving night we worked to clear it out so we could paint in Friday. I was doing well until I had to take down the wall decorations. The decorations I spent hours picking out and putting up. I lost it. I felt like I was taking her down to put her away to be replaced by Harper.
It got worse the next day when it came time to paint. Avery's beautiful pink was going away, being replaced by Harper's pretty purple. Painting made the transition permanent. It became so very real. To make matters worse, the paint didn't seem to be going on well, my husband was really frustrated and both of our emotions were running high. Half way through, we were both questioning why we were even repainting. I felt absolutely horrible. Painting really wasn't necessary. Why did I feel the need to cover Avery up? After many tears and much talking, we both found peace with giving Harper her own room. As much as Avery deserves to always be part of us, Harper also deserves her own identity too. After coming to grips with the fact that paint or changing the room isn't getting rid of Avery, the day went much better and the paint turned out beautiful.
Saturday was time to get everything in order and put up Harper's decorations. The day went pretty well. It felt nice getting the room ready for Harper's impending arrival. We put up the art on the walls, washed the new bedding and blankets and organized the closet.
I was doing well until it came time to change out the bedding. I will always absolutely love Avery's jungle bedding. As I folded up the blanket to put away for good, I felt like my heart was going to explode. She didn't get to use many of her belongings in her six short days but every night we got her ready for bed by laying her in her crib to dress her in her pajamas. She used her bedding, even if only very briefly, and there I stood, in a now purple bedroom, folding her perfect blanket and putting it in a bin. The perfect decorations for the perfect room all ended up in one Rubbermaid bin that will go in the attic. That's it. Avery's room no longer exists. And I feel like the hole in my heart is gaping wide open again.
I know it's just a room. It's just a place. Her room is not her identity. But when all you've had is six days, it's hard not to cling to physical things. It's hard not to tie part of her identity to the things that were part of her short life. It's hard not to feel like once again I am being pushed further away from her.
And at the same time, I feel guilty for feeling so terrible about changing the room. There really was no part of getting Harper's room ready that was fun or exciting. Getting ready for Avery was such a happy time. Once again, nothing is the same the second time around. But poor Harper deserves my happiness and excitement over her arrival. And so far, I really haven't been able to find that excitement. I am so afraid I will let her down.
So here I sit. Torn between two worlds-one pink, one purple. With a love for both but with no idea how to balance both. I love my daughters dearly and want them both to feel that love.
Avery's pink Jungle room.