Jack is really lucky I had a girl first. I don’t know if I would have been able to control myself when it comes to his clothes or his room if I hadn’t been able to go crazy with Ella. She lives in a pink wonderland; I got it out of my system.
But still, I wanted to make his room special and meaningful and particular. You know, curated.
There are three main displays in Jack’s room to give the space personality without being overbearing. My favorite of the three is the “Wall of Legends.” I had this idea years ago when I was pregnant with Ella and didn’t know I was having a girl. I just liked the idea of putting up pictures of cool and valiant men in history, pop culture, and my life.
I love this wall because it’s personal to me but also because children are born with such promise; they are the future happening in real time. So I like having this history watching over my son and his future.
In our apartment in Atlanta, I had three pictures hanging above Ella’s crib and I wanted to do the same for Jack. I like to look at Etsy for inspiration and I kept coming back to this black and white picture of a lion. Ella’s room has always had elephants scattered through it and I thought it would be fun for Jack to have his own animal, too. So, one picture down. The other two pictures are also from Etsy, I found the little prince print and that’s always been one of my favorite books and the seller custom made the same print with Jack’s name.
The final decorated area are the floating shelves above the changing table. Like Ella’s room, there’s a mix of old and new.
There are a lot of sentimental pieces in his room, like a couple pictures of my dad and a small rendering of the Sistine Madonna which my little sister and I kept in our shared bedroom growing up. There are souvenirs from our travels from before Jack was born: a sheep from Ireland, a Starry Night coaster from France, and a Delft clog from Holland. And I felt it was important that Matthew’s tastes be somehow represented, especially since he got less than zero say on anything in Ella’s room. So one of the Star Wars paintings he inexplicably brought into our marriage was thrown in.
I chose the least abrasive of the three so most people can’t even tell they’re X-Wings (I just called to Matthew in the other room to double check that’s what they’re called. I’m proof you can go six years into marriage without sharing any interests!). And of course, Go Heels.
I had to work a little harder on Jack’s room because all the boy stuff is definitely not natural for me. This was one of the sillier reasons I was scared to have a boy. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all the extra stuff I got with Ella. The clothes couldn’t be as cute, the room not as creative, so the experience couldn’t possibly be as rewarding and fun. But my fears were never realized, which is a relief no matter how silly the fears are. Yes, it was harder. But I’m discovering that hard work is the best kind. And I’ve gotten to stretch myself. I’m more than pink and gold and elephants and unicorns; I’m a girl and boy mom. I’ve now gotten to explore parts of my own creativity I didn’t even know existed and shower my precious little boy with it. My little prince, my lion, my Bud.
p.s. See if you can spot the military portrait of Matthew. Another great find on Etsy and one of my best Christmas presents to date. Find sources on my Instagram @thecuratedkids or ask in the comments!