As I sealed the last box of sheets and accessories bound for Georgetown, I had to smile at how we got here, even as I fought back the tears. The contents of these boxes were proof that my daughter, Adaire, is setting up a room outside of our home. She is heading off to college to start a new chapter in her life.
What surprised me, however, was her knowledge of design and, more importantly, her own exact taste. Should I really be surprised? She'd grown up around beautiful design. Her nursery had Osborne & Little wallpaper and an adorable China Seas check fabric for the window treatments and her first piece of upholstery. The floors were hand-painted, as were an oilcloth mat and her armoire. When Adaire was older she moved into a larger room, which featured hand-painted, tone-on-tone striped walls and whimsical hand-painted flowers.
So when Adaire approached me to help her with decorating her dorm room, little did I know I would be taking the subservient role, and not the lead. How did this happen? After all, I was the one with the expertise; I was the one who knew where to find everything she might need to create a cozy nest (and pay for it too!). But no sooner did our summer project begin than I noticed she had a clear idea as to what she wanted: from colors to patterns to the right trim on an accent pillow. And was I really surprised that she spent longer than I ever envisioned searching the aisles of fabrics and trims at Weathervane Hill for a fabric-covered bulletin board? There it was: She was ready to leave for college, prepared socially, academically and ready to create a space—literally and figuratively—all her own. But am I?
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