I never had my own room. I was born with a two-year-old sibling, and I never knew what life was like to be an only child, and so when I was born, I moved into my older sister Krystal’s room. As I grew older, I shifted from my crib to the trundle bed. Our mom bought us cute little Charlie Brown and Snoopy sheets, and she painted our shades on our windows with the entire Peanuts gang. We loved our Peanuts room, and then came her…my baby sister.
Shekinah kind of looked like a squished up ball of chub, and I didn’t like her presence. She seemed to throw off my groove and because of her, my older sister and I had to be relocated. We got shifted from our room that we had shared together for eight years into a smaller room at the far end of the house that had only previously been used for storage. We had been comfortable in that room. It was ours, and now we were being evicted by a little chubby, wrinkled ball of coos.
At first, we were terrified. Mom and Dad seemed so far away, on the other side of the living room. If we had a bad dream, we had to walk all the way through the eerily shadowed living room, past the creepy front door, and down a pitch black hallway to get help because Mom and Dad could no longer hear our cries at night. It seemed like a pretty tough battle, but little did I know of all the struggles that I was still to face.
As time went by, we seemed to grow okay with the move. Mom made us a cute bunk bed that looked like a tree house. We loved it, and that made it a little easier to surrender my trundle bed that had been taking up all of our free space. I was sad though. One night, I sat in my bed thinking of all the memories that trundle bed contained. My sister and I had squished together in that bed on so many Christmas Eves, listening to every pin-drop hoping it was Santa. We had jittered from excitement trying to squeeze out a blink of sleep the nights before leaving on vacations. That bed had held so many buckets of Halloween candy after so many trick-or-treating ventures, but I did love this new bed, and I admitted that sometimes change can be a good thing.
A few years slid past, and my chubby baby sister was becoming more annoying. She was now the center of attention with her cute little quips and dance routines she had choreographed to our Disney records, but, even with her receiving so much attention, I was kind of getting used to the chubby-cheeked little tike, and then it happened.
“Mom and Dad, do you think now that our baby sister’s older that I can have my own room?”
What? Did my ears deceive me? Did my sister—my compadre, my roommate, my sis—just sell me out? Ship me out to sea? Flush me down the toilet? It can’t be! But sure enough, it was.
That Christmas, my older sister and I both got new beds. She got a wave-rocking waterbed, and I got a daybed…with a trundle. It was a transition, another change. I don’t like this change! She’s eight years younger than me! This isn’t fair! The thoughts of anger whirled around and around in my head, and as time crept by, I became more and more frustrated. I was working my way into puberty while my roommate was working her way into preschool.
She bugged me with things like asking me how to tie her shoes, and it was embarrassing to bring my friends over because she would hover over our shoulders wanting to see what we were doing, but when a couple of twelve-year-old-girls are thumbing through a Teen Beat magazine, drooling over Sean Astin and Kirk Cameron, they’re not really wanting to share their thoughts with a four-year-old child.
As the months slid past, the winds began to change; the fall cool fronts plucked the leaves from the tree branches near our house. The evening breeze blew and the trees scraped their finger tips along our bedroom window. I heard the bed springs creak as Shekinah scuttled closer to the edge of the daybed and closer to the trundle on which I slept.
Silence. Scratchy scratch. Creaky Creak.
“Misty?” Her quiet little voice called out.
“Yes,” I whispered back.
“Can I sleep with you on the trundle bed?”
“No, go to sleep.”
Scratchy scratch. Creaky creak.
“Please,” her innocent little voice pleaded.
I jerked back the covers. “All right,” I reluctantly agreed, “But you better be still.”
“I will,” she said with a smile. “I promise.”
Her little head nestled into my pillow in front of me, and her hair flopped over my face. Oh good grief! I brushed her hair from my face, and I began to run my fingers through it when I realized she had already fallen fast asleep.
The next night, I wasn’t quite as reluctant when she asked to share my trundle, and soon Christmas Eve was upon us.
“Hey, you wanna sleep with me? We can listen for Santa Claus,” I teased.
“Sure.” She agreed and her little flannel-footed body quickly plopped into my bed. Her hazel eyes lit up at the thought of all the Christmas magic. We must have stayed up half of the night talking about all of the wonders that awaited us the next morning. My sister never did go back to her bed after that. We shared that trundle until we moved when I was sixteen years old and we both finally got our own rooms. It almost seemed sad at first. Sometimes change is a good thing, I reminded myself.
I tried to convince myself that this was better. This room was all mine, and I was now free to hang my Teen Beat posters all over my walls without opposition, and as time passed, I seemed to get used to the quiet time. It was quaint and peaceful I told myself.
Christmas Eve rolled around. The Christmas tree lights were so beautiful on our tree. This new house’s ceiling seemed to stretch for miles, and our tree was so much taller. It looked as if its lights and ornaments hung right up to the heavens.
“Go on to bed, y’all!” Mama shooed us.
I trudged up the stairs to my room. I creaked my bedroom door opened. It seemed empty and lonely. This is Christmas Eve, why aren’t I happy? Then I realized what was missing. I backed up a few steps and rapped on Shekinah’s door.
“Hey, you wanna sleep with me? We can listen for Santa Claus,” I teased.
“Sure,” she replied. “Let me grab my pillow.”
We began to tiptoe back to my room when we were caught. “Hey, what are y’all up to?”
We froze in our tracks. Our heads slowly turned around. Krystal’s untrusting eyebrows stood at attention; her hands were clamped onto her hips. “You look like you’re doing something sneaky.”
Shekinah and I looked at each other, laughed, and then quickly darted down the hallway to my room. We hopped under the blankets, and I slid a book from my night stand and began to read, “Marley was dead: to begin with….”
Suddenly, there was knock at the door.
“Yes?” I questioned.
“Whatcha doin’?” Krystal’s voice strained through the door.
“I’m reading a book to Shekinah.”
“Can I come in?”
I looked over at Shekinah, and she shruggled her tiny shoulders. “Sure,” we both answered at the same time laughing at the jinx and realizing we both owed each other a Coke.
“You wanna sleep with us?”
Krystal, so conservative, just added, “I won’t fit in that daybed with both of you.”
“Don’t worry!” I quickly hopped from the bed and slid the trundle bed from its resting place. I pulled the lever, and it hurriedly popped to attention. I pushed it up next to the daybed, and we all piled in.
That trundle bed never did cease to give us amazing memories, and until Krystal got married years later, we all three spent every Christmas Eve making new memories piled in that bed.
Years later, as we each got married, we changed. We transitioned into wives and then mothers. Our priorities shifted, and many of our crazy tales became legends or were forgotten, but the ones that will never fade from my mind are the ones that happened on that creaky old trundle bed.
I often wonder whatever happened to that old trundle bed and who had the pleasure of creating new memories on her after she left our home. I guess I’ll never know, but one thing I do know for sure is that the best memories are created when giggly siblings join together in an old creaky trundle bed.