Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Growing Up, Not Apart

When I got remarried and moved in with my husband and his three boys, my then 5 and 6-year-olds started sharing a room again. They’d had their own rooms in our townhouse, but given the fact that we were becoming a blended family where the oldest teen got his own room and the other two teen boys shared, having the two youngest do the same made sense at the time. This arrangement worked well up until last summer.

Toward the end of third grade, Liv, the only female child in the family, started expressing her desire for her own room. After a year plus transition process, everyone has moved either out or around, and Liv has gotten her wish.

Though having Liv and Levi share wasn’t my preference at the time they started to, I came to cherish having them together. Waking them up at the same time with a song, doing “This Little Piggy” with Levi and then giving Liv butterfly kisses while the other looked on, these are all things that won’t happen in the same way. So many milestones were reached and meaningful moments made in their shared room. I’ll always remember them learning to read as we snuggled over new classics as well as the ones I loved as a child.

Life really isn’t about the number of moments, but the ones that take your breath away. Like Levi gently removing his big sister’s glasses and placing them on her night stand after she’d fallen asleep in them or Liv looking at her sleeping baby brother and asking me, “Isn’t he precious?” They’re more than just brother and sister. They’re best friends.

When I realized moments like the above may be a thing of the past, I had to capture them. So I snapped pictures of the walls decorated to reflect both their personalities, the his and her bedding and them. Lots of them. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s just the room that Liv and Levi shared for a short while. The love and friendship that they’ll hopefully share for a lifetime extends beyond those four walls. My prayer for my children is that they grow to be adult friends who skipped over the phase where their school friends were more important than their sibling. After all, as long lasting as friendships may be, family is forever.

Developmentally, it was time for Liv and Levi to be in separate rooms. Even so, it’s been a massive adjustment. Liv slept in Levi’s bottom bunk the first few nights and Levi finds countless reasons to make his way back to what is now Liv’s room, especially at bedtime.

With all the change, one thing has remained the same. Every night I hear them calling, “I love you,” back and forth and am assured that they’re growing up but not apart.

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