On Monday, Ethan and I came home from a playdate as the thunder boomed and the skies opened up. It was a dull, rainy day and Ethan sat down to play with playdough. In that moment, I felt ready. Compulsively ready. I wanted Wylie's room to be one that was filled with joy and happiness and laughter, not a place that felt like a dungeon. I didn't want it to be The Room That Shall Not Be Mentioned where we stored things but never spent any time in. I wanted it to be a room that we went into to smile and soak up the little bits of goodness that life is able to offer. My shirt was completely drenched with my tears but I sat on the floor of her room and packed up her things that afternoon. Most fit in the closet, perfectly stacked underneath the racks of her clothing. Wylie's room quickly transformed into a play room for Ethan that relieved our living area of it's toddler play area duties at least a little bit.
Of course, having room to walk through the living room is no silver lining for the need to refinish a room that was supposed to be Wylie's, but Ethan was excited by the change. "The Baby Wylie's Room Playroom" was what he quickly referred to the room as and, though not without tears, I was doing okay until I stumbled upon those samples of paint that he and I purchased just days before the world came tumbling down.
Someone in a loss group I belong to suggested taking that paint and creating some kind of art to remember Wylie by. I loved that idea and quickly enlisted Ethan's help to do just that. I mean, if you're going to have a joyous, irrationally happy playroom, you may as well paint on the walls.
There are the ubiquitous reminders of the way things were supposed to be, of course. The crib rails and the bassinet and the glider and things that I don't know what to do with just yet, the closet filled with diapers and wipes and baby clothes neatly hung. One day, I will know what to do with those things. But for now, they're part of the room that is bringing joy back into our hallway. Happiness and laughter and play and love. After all, that's what we want to feel when we think of Wylie, not sadness.