I was vacuuming the nursery last night. Bean's room. The carpet in there is super plush so when you're done vacuuming it, you leave footprints wherever you step. It's some of the only original carpet that we kept in the house after we moved in. It's gray, which isn't my favorite color (I think it's kind of cold), but we were already trying for a baby when we moved in here and that room was earmarked for the nursery. When you imagine the kind of floor that your baby is going to be rolling all over, taking their first steps on, and possibly trying to climb out of their crib and face planting on, that's the kind of carpet you imagine. So soft, so thick.
When I first started vacuuming that room there was just a box spring and a mattress on the floor. It was our second guest room, even though our first guest room was hardly ever used. One of those rooms really should have been an office, but I didn't want to setup an office and then have to change it into a guest room if we got pregnant. So we setup the guest room and stuck our extra mattress and box spring on the floor in there. The room was an ugly color, but I didn't want to paint. I just left it alone. And then we got pregnant. Hubby was away on business when we found out. He brought back a teeny tiny t-shirt for our future little one and I hung it in the closet in that room. About a week later I miscarried. Then next thing I knew we had been in the house for a year and that room still hadn't changed.
It was the sad room. It looked sad, it felt sad. The door was always closed. It was always cold in there. I hated going in. I rarely did. And then I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't working, I had quit because of all the doctors appointments and the stress that I was under at work. I was home alone with the sad room. So I went and bought some paint, a color that I would be happy with as a guest room, nursery, or whatever lay ahead. I bought a bed frame, new sheets, a bookcase. It became a proper room. A room that I liked to be in. I used to go in and lay on the bed and think about what it might become.
Whenever I used to vacuum that room though, no matter what was in it, I always vacuumed from the back corner out. That way when I was done the carpet was perfect. There were no marks, no footprints. It was like nobody had ever been there and it was just waiting, plush and perfect for you to sink in when you really needed to. When you needed to feel like the world was slightly bubble wrapped. Which back then was often. After we found out Bean was coming that room changed a lot, but I still vacuumed it the same. Even after she was born. I just wanted to keep that cushion there, perfectly waiting for her.
Last night for the first time I realized how differently I vacuum in there now. Firstly, it doesn't happen very often. Bean is afraid of the vacuum. My hubby tried to tell her it was a little cow when she was in love with cows, and that it just mooed really loud. So now she calls it a "moo" but she's still afraid of it. Last night she was taking a bath when I was vacuuming. So I was going really fast, just trying to get it done. And there were footprints everywhere. I'm not trying to keep that room pristine anymore because it isn't mine to keep. I kept it special, and safe, and soft for years. But now it's Beans. Even if I left the carpet perfect, her little feet wouldn't care. They would go flying in after her bath, with the kind of happy run that only naked babies seem to be able to replicate.
It isn't very often anymore that I think about what that room used to be. The sad days. Sometimes I happen upon that little t-shirt that hubby bought for our first baby hanging in the back of the closet. I can't seem to add it to Bean's clothes. It's the only thing that actually belonged to our first little one and it feels like it should stay that way. Then I remember how sad that room used to make me feel, when I was mourning something I thought I might never have. Now I mostly just think about that rooms future. I'll sit in there with Bean late at night and imagine what it will be like if we have another baby. I redecorate the room across the hall in my head for Bean and imagine the little changes we'll do to make the nursery new and fresh. It's easier to be in the dreaming phase this time around. I know there could be a lot of sadness ahead, but I know it won't be like it was then. Because no matter what happens, we have one little set of footprints all over that carpet.