It’s more than just a chest of drawers…


It’s funny the things that make you stop and think. I was putting away Ollie’s clothes the other night before tucking him in bed and for the first time I realised I couldn’t actually fit all his clothes in his chest of drawers. It’s not that he has too many clothes it’s that the clothes he has are getting bigger and longer and contain far more material than they ever used to. He’s growing up and the chest of drawers can’t fit him all in anymore.

When I was working as a teacher I received a tax rebate. We’d just had Ollie and we didn’t have much spare cash so I bought him a beautiful chest of drawers from the Arcade in Hungerford. We got it in our Land rover, took it home and moved it into his bedroom. It’s followed him round ever since though he did have a stint of using another one I still call this chest of drawers –Ollie’s. It’s waxed pine with wooden handles and bun feet. 2 small drawers with 2 larger draws underneath, it’s a dark honey colour and I love it. The same clothes are put into it every time, t-shirts in the top left drawer, jammies in the top right and trousers and jumpers in the bottom drawers. It did the job but sadly now it doesn’t…

He’s getting bigger not just in the age, calendar related way that’s much anticipated by him each year; another birthday means another number with matching candles on a cake, but in size also. His legs are long, he is taller each year and soon he will be taller than me. A fact he is eagerly anticipating. He’s also growing in that silent stealthy way in confidence, in maturity but also in whom he is to become. His personality shines through however difficult I sometimes find that and there are short sharp glimpses of the man he will one day be.

He will leave me and forge out into the world to create his own life. He says he won’t and can be tearful if we talk about him being an adult. He insists he’ll stay with me forever but I know he’ll go, just as he should and just as I would want him to. He will stand on my shoulders tall and strong and jump straight into his life headlong and with energy and enthusiasm just as he does now and will no doubt continue to do. He will come back to me but with others by his side and I will welcome them into our family as extensions of him.

But for now I need to make a decision. Do I leave his chest of drawers in his room piled high with the clothes that no longer fit inside or do I give in, take it out and buy him the wardrobe he so desperately needs. I think I already know the answer to that but not saying it allowed makes it not quite real yet. I still have time.

I will move the chest of drawers into his brother’s room ready to be filled with his little t-shirts and trousers and watch each year as they grow and fill the wooden drawers too and I will feel all this again as I realise that that finally, the chest of drawers bought for a baby that has done a family is now no longer needed for its original purpose. I will find a quiet space for it in the house that once had children in, cover it with a simple cotton piece of material and put old photos of days gone by shining out from silver frames. The history of a family can be told in many ways; in photos, in memories but also in a simple wooden chest of drawers…

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About littlewhitecottage

Tales from a contemporay cottage.
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One Response to It’s more than just a chest of drawers…

  1. magicram08 says:

    Really enjoy reading your posts! I suspect I will encouter the same dilemma with the little C-O-D I have for our daughter. At the moment, she’s a baby, but I am already struggling to fit her clothes into it, thanks to the kindness of family & friends she has plenty to wear. Saying that though, it’s not a particularly stylish piece of furniture, just functional, so perhaps I won’t feel quite so attached to it? However, once she’s a bit bigger she will need her own room ( a problem as we live in a one-bedroomed maisonette) and her own proper furniture that can grow with her.

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