Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The bookshelf

We're contemplating remodeling our very old-style basement. Currently we have wooden paneling from the 1970's (or so it looks), cheap green carpet, and an annoying wall of closets and drawers that is inconveniently placed directly in the middle of the basement, cutting its functionality in half. We have always wanted to remodel our basement but we never thought we would live in this home long enough to truly enjoy it. Due to the value of our home in the economy, it's obvious we'll probably be stuck here for quite a while. I never had envisioned raising my child in such a small house with such a tiny room to utilize as a nursery. I had wanted the largest room in the house to be dedicated as the nursery, similar to the one in Father of the Bride II. I love that nursery!

Once I get something on my mind it's very difficult for me to just let it go. Once I want it, I want it now. So before we have a budget, a design, or even the first 2X4 purchased, I've started getting the basement ready for renovation. Yesterday I cleared the junk off of an old bookshelf that my husband made when he was younger. This was a primary piece of furniture in his home before we were married and once we got hitched the bookshelf went in the basement, along with most of his other bachelor furniture. It's actually a very nice bookshelf and special to both of us since he actually built it. We never had a designated space available upstairs for it but I recently sold a piece of furniture on Craigslist which opened up room in the office for his bookshelf. We moved it into the office yesterday, which was a bittersweet moment for me. I had always envisioned that bookshelf staying put until we moved into a much larger home, at which point the bookshelf would go directly into the nursery and we'd fill it with books for our child. I imagined sitting in the rocking chair, holding our baby, and telling him how daddy built that bookshelf and when he is old enough, he can help daddy build things too. I imagined a few years later, our toddler climbing off my lap as I sat in that same rocking chair, and him selecting his favorite book from that shelf daddy built. I didn't imagine the bookshelf to be in our office without a nursery to even consider moving it to.

So I improvised. The bookshelf that has always been in our office is 6 ft by 6ft and packed full of books. I love to read. Our entire journey to become parents is chronicled in the books scattered throughout. I have a section of books larger than Barnes & Noble in some categories; adoption, surrogacy, menopause, hysterectomy, infertility, surrogacy in India. I also have dozens and dozens of children's books from when I was a child. My mom read to us constantly and we had hundreds of books everywhere in our home. I went through my bookshelf and removed every single children's book and placed it on the bookshelf. The bookshelf is shorter, probably only 4 feet or so, and lends itself to the reduced reach of little arms. It probably looks ridiculous to anyone who could see it right now, a bookshelf dedicated to children's books in a home without a child. For me though, it is a step. A step toward preparedness for the moment I've been craving. A step into the world of nesting, a tiny step into imagining what it might be like one day when our toddler walks to that bookshelf to select his favorite book to read.

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