Goodbye, Little Room

For nearly five years, the room has been a home to our boys.  It’s been their room, their nursery.  It’s been the place where they rolled over for the first time, learned to sit on their own, and the bane of my existence on many a sleepless night as my little ones cried out in their first few months in this world.

nursery 6
Starting the nursery.

Five years ago, my husband and I began the process of turning one of our guest rooms into a nursery.   When we set out to create the room, neither one of us were looking for the high end glamour found between the glossy pages of the hundreds of magazines that cater to parents.  No.  We didn’t want something sophisticated or snobbish.   We wanted fun.   We wanted a children’s room, not a miniature version of our room.  We wanted something that screamed, “a child lives in here,” and full of bright colors and shapes.   So, without knowing the sex of our first child, we started on one of our first adventures down parenthood lane.

nursery 5
The finished wall.

We chose a white bed just so we could match it with a dresser and nightstand that we already had.   And then going with the most gender neutral of themes, as well as something I knew my husband would like, we decided to turn the room into a nautical adventure.

Nursery 2

One wall became a sea and sky, with various sea life decals along with the sun, clouds, and a few sea gulls.   From that point forward, we just accessorized and within a few weeks, not only did we know we were having a little boy, but also Captain Davey’s cabin was complete aboard the S.S. Doser.

Nursery 1
The nursery is slowing becoming no more. 


From the start, I sat in the floor of the room, breathing in the tranquility and imagining what our lives would be like.   I read to Davey as he kicked in my belly, told him stories about his room, what it was like and how much I knew he would love it.   I would lie on the floor and romanticize about my happy little home and family, my little baby toddling around.   I planned out his first 18 years of life lying on that floor.   It was the greatest room in the house and I never wanted to leave.

Nursery 3

Davey, and my husband and I, enjoyed nearly two years in that room.   Two years of sleepless nights, of stories, of rocks in the rocking chair, of sleeping on the floor while Davey held to my hand just so he would feel safe.  We had two years of more memories than I ever thought possible.  Then Henry came along, and the cabin became the quarters of Captain Henry.  Another round of sleepless nights followed, along with afternoons of his big brother watching over him while he napped.   Dixie even managed to sleep in front of the crib some days, ever the Henry’s protector.   Now, nearly 2 & 1/2 years later, this little square room of bliss and memories, is soon graduating up as we turn the nursery into Henry’s big boy room.

Nursery 4

This afternoon, I began the painstaking process of taking down decorations, removing books, and taking down curtains.   I’ve started patching holes where nails and screws once resided.   With each piece of decoration that came out of the room, my heart hurt just a little.   As I began repairing holes, a tear travelled down my cheek, and then I had to stop.   I had to just take this room in again, a room that has served as nothing more than a place for my boys to sleep, and look at it again.   I had to look at each little corner, each little area of the carpet and just as if they were holograms coming forth from my memories, I could see my boys as babies in this room, and I began to cry.

watching over
Davey the protector.

I never thought it would hit me this hard.   I never thought that removing baby items would hurt the way it has.   Truthfully, I’m a bit nervous as to how I’ll be on Saturday when the crib comes completely down and a new queen size bed sits in its place.  This is a chapter that is quickly closing in our lives.   It saddens me and yet excites me at the same time.   What new adventures will await us?   What sort of mischief will be caused by Henry once he has his big boy room in place?   And just like five years ago, I find myself sitting on the floor of the nursery, it’s pitiful, naked, saddened state, and wondering what will our lives be like next year?

While the walls of the room may still stand tall and strong, I feel as if we are saying, “goodbye, little room.  Just like your inhabitants, it’s time for you to grow.”


Today, We Swim With Fishes

The morning was gray.  Thick clouds snuffed out the sunlight.   It was early, much too early for a Friday morning, for us to be awake and tackling a day.

The secret had remained safe, tucked within the confines of mine and my husband’s brain.  Once, just the night before, my husband had nearly opened the gates of Castle Secret and allowed the family adventure to escape prematurely.   Fortunately, the wheels remained locked and the chains never allowed the bridge to unfurl.   We’d planned the day for weeks, discussing in depth what we would do, and clinging to the mercy of Mother Nature before we could truly decide.   The mists of rain, saddening fog, and all around dullness of the morning gave us our answer.   We needed bright colors, non stop entertainment, and adventures galore.


At 7:00 a.m., The Doser Family Friday of Fun trekked out into the dismal morning.   My husband and I had only moments before decided to share with our boys where we were going…The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.


Davey seems to have an obsession with whale sharks and stingrays.   He talks of them profusely, reading and re-reading the book of sea creatures given to him by his Aunt Dee Dee.   He can tell the difference between the various species of sharks and whales, determining which is which and what each one’s purpose is.   Once we told him of our adventure, made even more special by the fact that Daddy was taking an entire day off from work, his chatter never ceased.   Would we pet stingrays?  Would we see whale sharks?  What about crabs?


Two years ago, while Henry was a mere six months old, we made our first trip to the Georgia Aquarium.   We touched stingrays, met a real live Nemo, watched a dolphin show, and rode along a conveyor belt through a tunnel of water full of fish.   Obviously, Henry couldn’t recall it, but Davey still did.


He was at full speed as we walked into the aquarium, eager to go from one exhibit to the next.   My husband and I took a deep breath, as Henry struggled to break free from our grasp and chase after his brother.   We were in for an exhausting day, a long day, and a day we were sure would test our true levels of patience.


As we made our way through, I saw the aquarium through a different set of eyes.   I saw a true inquisitive nature, one of wonder and excitement.   For me, an aquarium has always been nothing more than ho-hum.   I see the fish and various sea creatures with not much curiosity.   My boys?   Their wonderment never ceases to amaze me.


I watched as their eyes grew narrow when truly studying a fish.   Their heads would tilt from one side to the next.   Henry would slowly take his finger and push on the glass while asking what kind of fish we were looking at.   When the glass wall emerged, with three beluga whales swimming towards them, my boys jumped with excitement, their eyes growing wider.   Davey tried to run along the glass wall eager to keep pace with the whales, while Henry just stood in amazement, his mouth agape.


We watched the dolphin show.  Henry tilted his head back and laughed hysterically with each somersault performed by the dolphins.   “That’s silly,” he would exclaim before another belly laugh would overtake him.


We watched a 4D version of Happy Feet in the theatre and when the whale crashed down into the water, we felt sprays of water as well.   Davey laughed, while Henry shook his head and pursed his lips looking as if he were sucking on a lemon.   My husband and I, alone, would have had an enjoyable time, but we wouldn’t have had an adventure and the time of our lives.   We wouldn’t have laughed as hard as we did, smiled as much, or even run as much.


As the day closed out, the rain began coming down.   We quickly, but sluggishly, walked back to the car.   Once in the car, and after surviving a power outage in Atlanta, our boys were fast asleep.   While watching them nap, I thought of how my husband and I use to be able to go places at the drop of the hat.   We would vacation in Jamaica, cruise the Caribbean, spend a last minute weekend in the mountains.   We used to do all of this, but I can’t recall having the same level of fun as we had when with our boys on Friday.

Myrtle Beach Days

We’ll have some fun in the waves.

And that’s exactly what my boys did.

This happiness makes me happy.
This happiness makes me happy.

This past week, we enjoyed our last summer vacation before BOTH of my boys start back to school.   As with every summer, we went to North Myrtle Beach, SC home to Vanna White and the beach I grew up going to.   My parents have a cute little condo and being the old retirees that they are, they forgo their summer week since it’s too hot and usually too crowded.  For as long as my husband and I have been married, we’ve taken their summer week.

The wave just crashed onto him.
The wave just crashed onto him.

Back in those days, we could really call it a vacation since my husband and I actually relaxed.   These days it’s consider more of a trip, but as my boys get older I’m honestly finding it more and more enjoyable.

This year we kept our agenda light.   There was to be no running around, no going to shows, no attractions.   This year we were going to save money and enjoy the beach, the ocean, and the pool.   In the future, this may not pose to be as exciting for the boys, but for now they had a blast.

Out running the waves.
Out running the waves.

It warmed my heart and my soul to hear their giggles as they both attempted to out run the waves before they crashed upon shore.  I felt content and blessed beyond measure at seeing the two of them so wrapped up in their daddy, a man who willing allowed them to splash him, cover him in sand, chase him, and cannonball him in the pool.   How fortunate we all are to have him.

We took the opportunity to learn about sea life each day.   Davey was fascinated with the shells, and their “feet” that would help them burrow into the sand after a crashing wave.   He never knew sea shells were alive.   We talked about the birds and the sea gulls.   Davey watched in awe as the gulls would dive bomb into the water, scooping up a fish or two in it’s beak.

My three boys.
My three boys.

We flew a kite, fed some fish and ducks, and enjoyed some of the best seafood around at Captain John’s in Calabash, NC.   We kept it light, and for the first time in a while I genuinely had fun.   We didn’t rush to stick to a schedule and for once I didn’t overthink things for the kids to do.   I just let them go.

At night, when the boys were tucked away in their beds, my husband and I hung out on the back porch, a bottle of wine, a deck of cards, and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach to entertain us.

Building a sand castle with daddy.
Building a sand castle with daddy.

Growing up, Myrtle Beach always held a level of excitement for me.   We spent some of our vacations with my dad’s family, camping at Lakewood Campground, other summers we rented condos, and then my parents bought into their current time share 25 years ago.   Back then, the Pavillion was still on the boardwalk at the beach.   We could sit up top and watch the teenagers “cruise”.   The amusement park flashed lights across the street, with giggles and screams abounding.   Pinballs would light up, skee ball signs blinked and ice cream was the treat of the night.   The Bowery was the place to go, to see where Alabama got their start.   I get nostalgic when I think about my summers as a kid at the beach, and I smile when I think about how my children are doing the same thing.   When I was a teenager, I never thought I would be coming back to Myrtle Beach, SC.   Truthfully, I can’t think of anyplace else I would want to take my boys.   Memories of my childhood mesh with newly created memories of theirs.   I love it.

Of course, the sad part is always leaving and even at 40 years old, I get sad when our car pulls out of the parking lot.  I look back over my shoulder to see the Atlantic Ocean, the sunlight glittering upon the waves, and a lump forms in my throat.   Today, Henry looked out the window and repeatedly said, “bye, bye, beach” as he waved until he could no longer see the ocean.   Davey, on the other hand, almost began to cry as he exclaimed he wanted to stay forever.   A good vacation will do that to you.

Sharing a shell with daddy.
Sharing a shell with daddy.

I wanted to stay in that vacation, in this past week, forever.

Our final night.
Our final night.