The bed in the store was a single bed. What I got was a double—more practical for a guest bed sometime in the future. Sharing a double bed with my sister those months before the new house was finished and we each got our own room was a challenge. How well I remember using the center of that rosebud decal as the starting point to draw a line down the center of the bed and order my sister to stay on her own side.
There were times as a teen that I looked at my friends’ rooms with bulletins boards and posters and thought they might be fun, but I never really was a teenager. I preferred to paint a rocking chair white or spend $25 dollars of saved allowance on an antique bowl and pitcher set to keep the tone of a nineteenth century lady. Of course, it wasn’t real—no nineteenth century lady had box springs or Formica tops on her night stands—but the room was me.
I got married from that bed and brought my husband back to it. (He was a good sport about it.) When we moved back to the U.S. with our children in junior high, I took the bed from the guest room in my parent’s house for my oldest daughter. I realize now I was pushing something on her that wasn’t really her personality. When her own little girl was born, my daughter wanted nothing to do with pink or frills.
When we sold the house in Indiana and consolidated to the lake before returning to Africa, the dresser and nightstands went into a basement bedroom. The canopy bed was too tall for the very necessary ceiling fans, so the pieces went into odd corners of basement and garage. Some mornings when we slept in the loft over the garage during family reunions, I would lie on a mattress on the floor and fantasize putting the canopy bed up there. But during some garage clean-up, the metal side pieces got thrown away as unidentified scrap. It wasn’t going to happen.
But now I have a grand daughter who, despite her mother’s aversion to pink and ruffles, is totally entranced by them. She refuses to zip her fleece at the ice rink because it will cover the plastic “jewel” sewn at the neck of her pink velvet skating dress. Her room is too small for the double bed. The canopy would never fit under the ceiling fan. But the attic over the two-car garage has been remodeled into an office for me. If we traded the twin beds, and moved things around . . .
And there it now is. My grand daughter carefully enunciates the new word—ca-no-py. She scampers out to the attic to have another look and throw herself down under its pink ruffles. I see a little of my own joy and excitement in her eyes. Can it really have been fifty years next month?