The afternoon sun pours in the window of the room that once belonged to my son. He was a senior in high school when 9/11 happened and in January of 2002 he joined the Air Force. Lots of books about The Greatest Generation and when it was his turn to be a great one, he didn't hesitate. I did not like the idea; mine was the generation without a war. My husband was too young for Viet Nam, my Dad wasn't in the military, I had no frame of reference for life in 'the service'.
He waited until his sisters were gone that night in January. "I want to talk to you guys," he said. We sat in the living room and he told us, "I'm thinking about joining the Air Force." I was stunned and then I was crying like I had never cried in front of my children. "You're a good kid", I said. "You don't need the military to straighten you out!" "Who would you rather have serving our country?" he asked.
He was doing more than 'thinking' about joining the Air Force. In the last few months he had visited recruiters from more than one branch of the military; he compared the educational benefits and the training and the future they offered. Thirty minutes after that conversation in the living room with his Dad and me, he was sitting at the kitchen table completing the application to enlist. His world would change, and so would mine on that night in January.
My 'Play Room' where my piles of scrapbook paper, rick-rack and glue sticks live used to be his room. In Basic Training it became my office, a new window treatment, faux paint on the walls, new pillows to make his twin bed into a sitting area and enough change that I didn't tear up every time I walked past the door. His bedroom that held his soccer trophies and the memories of life in high school before the Air Force was still masculine and full of Korean artwork, Asian fabric on the duvet cover and pillows...but it was where I sat at the computer and worked. The next evolution came in 2011 when the transition to craft room came when he moved to Hawaii to serve at the base at Pearl Harbor. He wouldn't come home on frequent leaves, he was gone and the room could now be full of pink and red and crafty stuff.
I come here to play with paper, and listen to books on CD or music and I craft along my afternoons in the sun.