When Your Childhood Bedroom Isn't Yours Anymore

Whenever I visit my parents, I sleep in my old bedroom, which has become a bit of a time warp, as it looks exactly the same as it did when I was 17 years old.

The room is stuck in 1997; the stars and moons wallpaper I thought was so awesome in high school is still plastered up on the walls, and the closets and drawers still hold old notebooks, pictures, and the occasional awful 90's outfit or two. I haven't lived with my parents for many years, but the room remains, and though my mom has started to use it as a bit of a storage facility for random things, the room itself stays relatively untouched.

Kate Stone Lombardi of the New York Times is keeping her son's room intact while he's off at college; his room has become a bit of a shrine to the New York Rangers. "This room didn't come together overnight, of course," Lombardi writes, "The memorabilia was collected from the time he was an early fan - back in his elementary school days - until now. Today he is a college sophomore. He still lives and breathes hockey. But he doesn't really live in that room anymore."

It's a strange thing when a version of yourself lives on in a room; when everything else in your life is changing, it's odd to wander into a room that hasn't changed at all. At the same time, however, there is something comforting about the familiarity of an old bedroom, as it stands as a place where you began to become the person that you are today. Lombardi takes comfort in the things her children have left behind, yet she knows that these rooms won't stand forever, a notion that she is both saddened by and willing to accept: "This, I know, is a room in transition. His sister's room is just down the hall, and farther along in the process of transforming from a child's room to the room of someone who once lived there." Lombardi goes on to express her feelings towards her daughter's room: "It's still my daughter's room, but as she settles more deeply into her independent life, her essence gets more and more stripped out of those four walls. I would be lying to say that I miss the disorder - the scattered papers, the piles of clothes, the dirty tea mugs - that were also very much a part of Jeanie's occupancy. But I do miss the girl who lived there."

My parents are hoping to sell the house soon; my little sister's room has already been stripped and redone, and I'm sure my room is next on the list. And while I'm very excited for my parents to begin a new phase in their lives, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss that room, or that stupid ridiculous wallpaper. But hopefully whoever moves into that room will have as much fun creating a time warp as I did.

Shrines To Childhood [NYTimes]