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My latest project has been getting my first son’s “big boy” room ready for him before our second child arrives in just a few months. I have built, boxed, planned, and designed for weeks. As I sat one night comparing two almost identical bedspreads, I thought, just pick oneit’s just a room.

But, in all honesty, it is so much more than that.

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This is a room that, for the first time, can reflect his personality. He is two and takes a car nearly everywhere he goes. So naturally, I decided on a “things that go” theme with cars that go fast, trains that go “choo, choo,” and airplanes that fly. Putting this room together has allowed me to give him something that is all about what he loves. Pure and simple. All his favorite things that bring him the purest joy and wonder that only occurs in childhood.

I absolutely love seeing that innocent joy and wonder on his face.

When he looks around his new room, he will see all sorts of exciting images and toys to play with, but I see something different. He sees cars, trains, and airplanes, and I see memories.

When I look at the train on the wall, I can hear his sweet little voice saying “choo, choo!” every day as we pass the train tracks on our ride home together. I think of hearing him say “car” for the first time as I place the little matchbox cars on his nightstand. And as I hang the airplanes from the ceiling, I think of him looking up at the sky and shouting, “Airplane!” Such simple moments that bring him so much excitement and bring me an overwhelming sense of adoration.

Moving to this room is just one of many transitions he will have in his life.

This transition is one of the last reminders that he is no longer a baby. He is now a walking, talking, sometimes screaming toddler with his own personality and enough self-awareness to no longer need the confines of a crib. He gets just a little more freedom in this room which, I will admit, is a little terrifying but so necessary.

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This room will be where he finds comfort as we tuck him in at night. His imagination will grow inside these four walls as he explores the pages of the books that line his shelves. He will play and rest here. As he grows, it will be a place he learns to be alone and sort through his thoughts and feelings.

It’s just a room, but like so many things in motherhood, it is so much more.

Katie Vicari

I'm a 30-something wife and mother of a 2-year-old son and two dogs. I have a Master's degree in Human Services and work full time. I believe that a little humor and self-reflection can go a long way. 

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