Our holiday project this Christmas is to paint the walls of Nikki’s bedroom. Blue, Green, Orange, and Yellow. Bright, bold, and fun. We’ve finished 2 out of the four, but need to go back to the store for more paint tomorrow.

Every time I begin a new painting project (and by now, I’ve painted almost every room in this house at least once), I let the girls take first crack at the walls. They paint words, pictures, you name it. If there’s a closet in the room, they get to go wild in the closet, and then I leave it that way. In both Julie and Maddie’s closets, there are still colourful reminders of the children the way they were back when those walls were painted.

I wonder what an archaeologist would figure out if, many years from now, he/she were able to remove the top layers of paint without disturbing the bottom layer – the layer with the most interest. (I’m sure Gil Grisam on CSI would be able to figure out how to do that, wouldn’t he? 😉 These old walls would tell him which children had lived here, probably their approximate ages at the time of painting, what they thought of each other (yes, if you look closely, that wall says “Nikki is wierd”), what bands they liked at the time (in Julie’s closet, it says something about the Beatles – they were just discovering rock and roll back then), and probably a myriad of other things.

I like painting. I like the look of fresh walls. I like the way a room looks early on when there are no scuff marks, no chips in the paint, and no stray fingerprints. I like change. I need a home reno project at least once a year so that there is something changing in my house on a regular basis. My mom used to re-arrange the living room furniture in the house I grew up in on a monthly basis, and now that I’ve grown, I recognize that same familiar longing for change and renewal in myself as well. Some people can live with “sameness” for years and years, but I get a little stir crazy that way.

I may live within the same walls for years on end, but now and then the writing on the wall has to change. I think it’s contagious – my daughters seem to have inherited the trait from me the same way I inherited it from my Mom.

And now it’s time to go paint sunny orange on the wall…

Note: By the way, if you have a three-year-old helping you paint, I wouldn’t recommend leaving a tray of paint lying on the floor. But if you do, it’s comforting to know that little green paint footprints CAN be removed (almost) with a bucket of warm water, Mr. Clean, a scrub brush, and LOTS of elbow grease!

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