FREE WHOLE FOODS
This is my 17 year old's bed all made up with fancy sheets and a high-falutin down comforter and even a plush mattress pad for the first time in his blessed seventeen years.
(And by high-falutin, I mean on sale at TJMaxx and of course down alternative, but he doesn't need to know my secret.)
When we had this kid seventeen years ago, our finances were tight.
Tight enough that I remember sitting in tears trying to learn how to nurse him before leaving the hospital, because I wasn't quite sure where formula was going to fit in our oh-so-stingy budget those days.
My sister-in-law who always spoiled us gave him a pair of baseball sheets when he grew into my husband's old twin bed, we added an inexpensive comforter, and the kid was set.
(And that really was just fine.)
When our finances changed a wee bit, it never occurred to me to up the fancy on his simple sheets as this kid grew.
(As a penny pincher at heart, high-end bedding just isn't even on my radar!)
So when this cute now six-foot-tall-boy-still-pretty-content-in-that-hand-me-down-twin-bed asked me a few weeks ago if I could maybe buy him some new bedding that felt just a little better, I realized just maybe it was time.
(Because seriously folks, he'll be heading off to college in less than 12 short months and I'm all about making this home the coziest place to come home to.)
(And yes, he knows that.)
(And is completely playing that “I'm going off to college” card every day.)
(And I know I'm a sucker.)
(But I don't.
So I called up my sister-in-law who's known for making the coziest bed on the planet, and asked exactly what I needed.
She suggested a cushy mattress pad (y'all – NONE OF MY KIDS HAVE HAD MATTRESS PADS EVER because as an uber frugal mom I couldn't bear to spend $20 on such a frivolous thing.)
(As I think about it I'm a teensy bit horrified too.)
(But really – some children don't even have beds so surely my kids will survive their beds without mattress pads too?)
She recommended a new pillow, cotton sheets, a down alternative comforter (heaven knows this kid's not getting real down when I don't have that myself!) a duvet (which I'd found at the Pottery Barn Outlet a few years back so at least there's that) and a quilt and coverlet that I haven't found yet but I'm still on a mission for.
I brought everything home, gave it all a bath in a generous sprinkling of Tide, and set to work with that boy to make his new fluffed up bed.
We giggled as we nearly asphyxiated ourselves getting that ridiculous down comforter in place (those things are evil. clearly.).
We discussed which colleges he really was interested in most and what he really dreams of doing.
And he talked about how much he really wanted the cute train sheets I'd seen at TJMaxx because he knew this was kind of his last year to just be a kid.
(He said “Mom – the whole rest of my life I'll be stuck with plain white sheets.” I promised him even his grandpa who was one of his favorites had been known to sleep on Garfield sheets at eighty-years-old once in awhile, so maybe this wasn't entirely the end to his youth.)
As we finished up this mess of a bed and I told him goodnight, I walked back to our bedroom and thought how very much I still feel like that 24-year-old-girl-just-figuring-her-way-out-as-a-momma-of-one-cute-blue-eyed-boy.
And I looked in the mirror figuring quite surely that's the girl I'd still see.
But the girl that looked back wasn't quite the same girl as she was way back then.
She has a few more wrinkles.
A little more financial freedom.
And more than anything an overwhelming adoration for 3-noisy-kids-who-really-have made-her-crazy-but-are-still-so-stinkin' cute she can't hardly even stand it most days.
Take all the dollars.
We'll buy the fancy sheets.
We'll splurge on all the silly last minute stuff.
(Ok. I lied. Not all if it. But we'll splurge a wee bit more at least.)
Only promise one day you'll remember this place is just the coziest.
Remember that this mom of yours will be at the ready with a batch of cookies whenever you walk through the door.
And most of all know that I'm awfully glad God picked me to be yours too.
(And for real. I'm not even going to survive this senior year. So go to Kroger right now cute kid and use all the dollars to buy all the Kleenex.)