“Mom, can you move that stuff? It’s distracting me,” he says. I look over to where he’s pointing and see the three primary colored plastic totes full of toys: one of musical instruments (red), one full of sports toys and equipment (blue) and the third full of dress up clothes and old Halloween costumes (yellow). Apparently when he’s lying in bed trying to see the University of Oregon scoreboard clock, hung strategically at eye level from his resting point in bed, they are “distracting.”
“Sure,” I say, “I’ll move them. Where do you want them?”
“In my closet,” he says.
“You know, maybe you’re done with them, maybe we should give them all to our friends at the preschool.”
“Yes, let’s do that,” he says.
I drag the three totes out into the hall to be dealt with in the morning. I rearrange things in the room with suddenly too much space. I look over at his three shelves full of books – two shelves with picture books. I glance into the opened closet and see toy garbage and dump trucks. I look around the walls full of fading sports posters and art hung since first grade.
“You know,” I say, “maybe this summer we need to re-do your room. Really make it look like a high schooler’s room. Take out all the things you never use any more and give it a good cleaning. What do you think?”
“Good idea,” he says. “You know, I’m not a kid anymore.”
Then he grabs Elmo, snuggles in next to his three stuffed bears and favorite tiger, curls into a fetal position and closes his eyes for sleep.