Don't get me wrong, I'm not chasing the YoT out the door yet (shit, he hasn't even left school!) but the preparations for independence are underway and it seems that it won't be that long in the grand scheme of things before he's off on his own. And while part of me is going "OMG did I do a good enough job will he be ok why is this recession now?" and another part of me is perfectly aware that it took me a few goes to leave home properly, still another part of me would love to have a space to do my projects in and is eyeballing his room with avarice.
Right now my projects are either stacked away in a cupboard (and on a shelf, and in a box) between sessions, or sitting in front of the dresser in the lounge being an eyesore and getting in the way. I would dearly love to be able to leave partially-completed stuff out, but I don't want to fill up our house with it. The ideal solution? A room that I can just shut the door on.
In my happy little fantasy, after the YoT leaves home, Dr Wheel and I will arm-wrestle for first pick and get a room each, which we can then turn into our very own den/lair/crawlspace. I picture his as a symphony of bleeps and flashes and minimalist decor, tastefully arranged, from which all sorts of weird and wonderful tech-related things will emanate on a regular basis*. Mine is an explosion of fabric and glue and mess and creativity with a gaming machine in the corner. I may disappear in here for days and come out covered in fun fur and unidentified shiny things, holding another shiny thing and going "LOOK WHAT I MADE" like a five-year-old.
You will be fully expected to go "It's beautiful, what is it?" on cue. Yep.
This image may be a product of how my parents lived, actually. By the time I left home, Dad was well into retirement (he was 48 when I was born) and while neither of them were working, they were always busy doing things. After I left, they each nabbed a creative space and went nuts with projects - the result being that their house was always interesting to be in and they were never bored.
* This based purely on my mental picture of the inside of the Wheel head when in action. I have no clue if this is actually what he would do, but the point is that in my fantasy, he can. Also, robots.
However, I'm getting ahead of myself. Right now, the YoT has entitlement on that third room and my projects live in a cupboard. But I can see myself very quickly changing that after he leaves home. I do have some scruples and am not in there with a measuring tape making noises about what I'll do when he's not there or anything. I do wonder though, how long after your offspring leaves home is it appropriate to reclaim their room? Bearing in mind that in this economy he's likely to boomerang a few times before he's properly left?