When we moved in to our current apartment, I immediately started to imagine how the space would work for the kids when they’re teenagers. “They will grow up here!” I would say. Somehow, I found myself in rare and awkward conversations where friends asked if we would ever move to a three bedroom so River would eventually have her own space. Everyone seemed to be thinking light-years ahead of me. A three bedroom to this New Yorker, feels excessive. But maybe I had it all wrong? When we had Oak, I was more than settled with the reality that they’d share rooms until one of them moved out. While I entertained three bedroom conversations for a while, I had to intentionally recenter myself with what I know to be true:
Everything is enough.
In retrospect, that doesn’t feel like a profoud moment, but a little reminder amongst the well-meaning opinions of others goes a very long way.
When it comes to not only their room, but raising River and Oak, I am passionate about fostering a special and tight bond between the two. I grew up with a rowdy group of siblings that I am still incredibly close to, and so much of that has to do with the work of my mother. The way she forced us to be in each other’s spaces, navigate one another’s emotional flow, and battle it out until we all came out on the same team again, feels paramount to who I am today.
While I know that I am not entirely in charge of the path their relationship takes as the years go on, it feels like keeping them in close quarters (despite the obvious gender differences) remains the ground for a quality sibling relationship. I keep on thinking about what Oak is already learning and what River is learning, and how that will help them navigate the world they live in and become an integral part of.