As the stay at home orders continued, swallowing up the months of March and now April, we made a few changes to our living space. Some were overdue improvements, such fixing a garage wall that was poorly withstanding the test of time. Others were projects to preserve our sanity, or what was left of it anyway. The great thing about these projects was that they gave the kids the opportunity to be involved and express creativity.
Before we started distance learning on April 6, one of my goals was to create spaces where the the kids could separate or at least have more room to spread out while working on their lessons. Prior to the stay at home orders, I learned that oftentimes the dining room table could only accommodate two of my scholars at a time before arguments would ensue. This wasn’t one hundred percent of the time; indeed there were times when all four kids would sit at the table studying and telling stories of their respective days as I cooked dinner. But this idyllic picture is not typical of our everyday, therefore we decided to switch up the room arrangements, as well as create some office corners for the husband and myself.
Like many families, we had the kids divided up by gender in our three-ish bedroom home. With the new orders, we were finding out that this arrangement wasn’t ideal with the kids not being able to access their typical outlets. There were many disagreements and annoyances throughout the first several days of the quarantine. The aha moment came when Emily mentioned that she wanted to repaint her room. This was a job for which she could get paid, as well as give her that creative outlet she needed. We then decided too to rearrange the rooms by age rather than gender. Jacob and Emily had been great friends from the time she was born, and while Nate and Sami can each be a little fiery, their both being in middle school going through similar experiences could be a comfort to each other. As a result, we took a few days to paint and put together the high schoolers’ room, and the following week, finished the middle schoolers’ room.
Jacob and Emily’s room was pretty easy to complete. Emily selected a frosty blue paint color, Behr’s ‘Permafrost.’ The trim was kept white, and with Jacob’s acquiescence, new accessories were purchased. Home Depot and Urban Outfitters were fairly financially stimulated by the project, but the end result was an oasis that is every teenage girl’s dream. Except maybe for the pesky older brother.
Meanwhile, I created an office out of the corner of the garage…
I hope you enjoyed this more lighthearted post. It’s been harder to look on the bright side as we hear more bad or uncertain news. If you need more than a fresh coat of paint or some Target decor, please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, clergy, or counselor. There are also links below:
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
For information related to the Covid19 pandemic, continue to visit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For information specific to Los Angeles County, visit L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Stay well. Hopefully we’ll soon be on some happy trails.