I was thinking this morning how things have changed for children in today's society.
When did the notion start that kids had to have their own rooms? This certainly is far from what exists in many other countries and also in many parts of our own. But nevertheless, it seems as though it's just expected that in these days parents who can afford to buy a home, look for one with as many bedrooms as their number of children.
I remember growing up having to share my bed with my sisters . . . let alone my room, which wasn't MY room anyway, but ours! My two brothers shared a room too. We were five kids and two parents . . . and one bathroom. When I think of it! The line outside the door sometimes grew very loud with hurry ups and threats, some of which I won't mention. Getting ready for school and taking care of personal needs while someone else is banging on the door presented its own set of challenges, while trying to find your own clothes in a closet shared by three girls was yet another. I'm not talking about a walk-in either! I'm thinking that these circumstances might have been a reason for kids leaving home much earlier than they do today.
When I got married and we began our family, the same numbers were replicated . . . five kids and two parents. The first thing we did when we moved into our four bedroom home was add another full bathroom and we even had a half bath extra to boot. Our three girls were still small at that time, but I wasn't waiting. My memories of teenage years pushed me to get ready for that primal female energy to resurface once again when my own daughters became teens. And god, did it ever!!! Still, they had to share one bedroom for a long time. When our oldest girl's asthma became really troublesome, we moved her into her own room. Yet, there were many nights we'd find her sisters and brothers with blankets and pillows, sleeping on her bedroom floor! I guess there remains a special comfort on stormy nights for children to snuggle up together and feel safe. Pillows and fluffy blankets shared seem to always calm the soul.
But as time goes on, things change, needs change and we all get caught up in one way or another to strive for bigger and better things. It stands to reason that the more we own, the more space we need and that seems to be one of the problems. The need for privacy and independence is another. But how much and how soon? I guess there is a certain status we unconsciously or consciously aspire to in this world where achievement is honored . . . and expected. I just wonder why for so many it has to begin so early in life, when childhood only lasts for just a moment and I wonder too . . . just how much better off as a people we really are.