Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Mother's Love

I love the smell of freshly painted, well, anything. It took me the longest time to figure out why this was true.

I was the youngest of four girls when I was growing up. And no, I don't feel like I got the short end of the stick for being the youngest. Sure, I wore hand-me-downs occasionally, but I also had many clothes that were custom-made for me by my mother. Mind you, I wasn't smart enough to realize that at the time, but I have come to understand and appreciate it since then. But I digress. As a child growing up in a family of six with four bedrooms, two things were true: Someone had to share a bedroom with someone else, and while my parents never seemed to mind sharing, we siblings were less excited about it. And second, the youngest child was the last one's opinion to be polled regarding bedroom choices (or anything else, for that matter). All that to say that when my two older sisters moved out a whole new world was opened up and I got to move from my less-than-coveted bedroom downstairs to the grown-up world of upstairs bedrooms. Trust me, this was a big deal, of course, I was still second in line for choices so my sister Kat, got the smaller room with the door that locked, which worked great for her. Unfortunately, she had to pass through my much larger, but less private bedroom, to get to her room, but that is a story for another time.
There are many things I could tell you about my bedroom, all of them cool, but there was no heat to the upstairs, so truthfully, it was far cooler than I would have liked. Back in those days I was still the recipient of my great-grandmother’s annual flannel nightgown (a tradition that my mom pragmatically continued) which was most useful for wrapping around the lower extremities to aid in the prevention of frostbite and least useful for the quick escape to the warmth of the downstairs, come morning. My room was not your typical 10 x 10 that you have in more modern homes and there was nothing square about it. It had alcoves where the windows were and most of the walls were sloped (which was murder if you sat up to abruptly in bed). Another big plus was that the walls were so old and beat up that my parents really didn't care what I pinned  up, so the whole room was a bulletin board, which was amazing (and cool), but not so pretty.

I don't remember how it all came about but eventually my parents decided to remodel the upstairs. My favorite color at the time was lilac and I wanted everything to be lilac. We had a huge lilac bush that I loved to pick bouquets from, I had a lilac solid-perfume, pens with purple ink, I even had a pair of purple and lilac striped pants, and yes, they were cool. Needless to say that room was going to be lilac or I wasn't the youngest daughter-with-her-daddy-wrapped-around-her-little-finger. Unfortunately for my mom, my dad wasn't the one making my dream come true. Those walls were old, beat up, and had several layers of wallpaper that all had to be dealt with. It was a monumental task that my mom took in stride and I certainly never heard her complain about it. I have no recollection of how long it went on, what I do remember is the day it was completed. I came home from school and my mom couldn't wait to show me. We went upstairs and the most beautiful lilac bedroom was revealed. The walls were perfectly smooth and painted in the most beautiful shade of lilac that you can imagine, mom had made matching lilac sheers for the windows and I can't tell you what was on my bed, but I know that it matched. Permeating it all was the smell of fresh paint.

Since that day I have always loved the smell of fresh paint because I understand that the smell of fresh paint is equivalent to a mother's love and sacrifice.

NOTE: This isn’t my bedroom but the color is right. As far as I am aware, there are no pictures of my beautiful Lilac Bedroom.


  1. I am grinning SO big after reading this, Melody. :-) I love these stories of your childhood and can picture everything perfectly. :-) I'm SO glad you're blogging and will look forward to your future posts. :-)

  2. Thanks for commenting Krista, and I consider it a high compliment because you are an accomplished writer whose style I adore! I will be making a concerted effort to post more blogs, I tend to be a tad on the notional side when it comes to blogging, sad but true. I would consider it an honor if you wanted to be one of my followers. =)