Sleigh Bed: Texas and Louisianna
This sleigh bed is from the Texas-Louisiana border. It dates from about 1840. I bought this piece when I first got divorced around 1990. My daughter was three. I determined to live centered on the child I had, not the man I didn’t. I bought the narrow sleigh bed to remind myself my focus was to be on my daughter not courting. And I bought it to remind my daughter that she would stay sleeping in her own bed in her own room. In the newly empty big bed, it would have been too easy for a lonely mother to let her forlorn daughter sleep with her every night.
My bed was from a bordertown and I was living in a border town that linked two very separate territories: married land and singlemotherhood. I did my best to abide by the best laws of both.
Let me tell you a little more about the teddy bears on the bookshelf in the first picture. The first Christmas David and I were married Caroline and I got him a teddy bear for Christmas. In his childhood home he was not allowed to have dolls of any kind-- not even stuffed animals or G.I. Joes.
My engagement present for David was a black GI Joe all dressed up in Ken doll tails. And at Christmas Caroline and I gave him a teddy bear so he definitely had someone of his own in the family while Caroline still had someone of only her own in the family—me. The secret of blending is taking it real slow and putting the children first. Eventually we got David three bears, a mama, a step-father, and a baby. A Christmas after that we gave him three more bears each with snow scarves. Caroline monogrammed the scarves with the letters R and W and E. I’m a Randall; She’s a Williams: and David’s a Ewing but we are RWE. After that nobody in the family needed a bear. We were all grown into security and when we weren’t we had each other.
Today my sleigh bed serves as a second desk. I love sitting on it and writing with the French Windows open looking out at my neighborhood. In the winter, if it snows in Nashville, which it rarely does, David and I open up the French doors and watch the snow fall. Snuggled under blankets on the sleigh bed, I am very grateful I was pulled across the border, back to a Queen-size bed in the middle of Middle Tennessee Married land.