My daughter asked why I moved my shampoo to the shower stall floor off of the shelves in there. I lied: it's easier for me to grab down there. It's really that there's no room left on the shelves between my daughters' and wife's bath products. This would be tough for me if I had hair, but I shave it off once a week and can make do bar of soap across my skull. I only use the shampoo my older daughter decided she doesn't like for herself. She asked if I wanted to use it up and now I smell just like a flower, which has long been my dream.
It was nice of her to ask about the shampoo bottle.
There's a bathroom cupboard in which I keep extra soap, baby powder, and a stick of deodorant. It is one third of one shelf, and I guard it as though against a horde of invaders. I keep finding cotton balls, face cleaning rounds, maxi-pads, and cotton swabs in my space and pushing them back or moving them to other shelves. Can I just have one section of shelf? I plead. The girls are willing to accommodate me. It's just that they need a bit more room.
Years ago this happened in the basement, our house's main entry point. I put up a coat rack for my sweatshirt, heavy coat, and rain coat. Soon there were snowpants and children's coats hanging from that rack as well as dozens of shoes littered below. I installed another rack, but was out of that within the month. I put a rack inside the door of my basement office, a space forbidden to them for anything beyond a visit. I've hung onto that space. It's good to have a home in which to hang a coat if not a hat.
I sound like I'm complaining. Mostly, it makes me smile. Sharing the house is a wonder I know I will miss too much when my daughters move out for college and adult life. I'll hurt with missing them. I will have all the room in the basement that I could ever want and wish I had none. I'll have shelves in the bathroom with nothing to put there.
I can see all that empty space and I'm in no rush to have it.
This wasn't the case ten years ago. Then I failed to understand that sharing space is better than inhabiting it. I felt pushed and shoved aside when in fact I was becoming more important and loved. Things like this I'm slow to realize.
Both girls have gone to their rooms to bed. The older one has the dog, the younger leaves her door cracked open for the cat. My wife lies beside me playing a game on her phone. Outside, the rain falls in the most meditative of sounds and Pat Metheny plays solo guitar softly on the speaker. I just heard one girl come out to use the bathroom.
I so hope she will come crawl into bed between us, pushing me over so I'm precariously balanced on the edge only able to stay in bed by holding on tight to her with all my love.