Today you moved on to hold another family’s baby, just like you held all of ours until they grew too big for your rhetorical lap. As a result, our home is now crib-free for the first time in a long time and will be crib-free forever more. I’m sorry we turned our back on you so non-chalantly for a quick buck, but “big kid” beds ain’t cheap. Especially if they are made in a barn that also makes pottery apparently?! 😉
If it were up to me, your send off would’ve been long, drawn-out and emotional. Maybe we’d hold hands around you and speak good things about all you’ve done for us. I probably would’ve made the big kids climb up into your lap once more to take a picture of their gangly growing bodies sitting where their pudgy baby selfs laid long ago. Alas, the man in the family knows how slippery that rabbit hole of mama’s emotions can get and so he ripped it off like a band-aid.
Now you’re gone and I feel like I didn’t get to make amends. There are exciting big kid days ahead for our family, but to truly embrace the new season I must close the door behind us with a proper farewell.
Thank you for keeping our babies safe. As a new mama I heard every single sound they made. I slept on pins and needles ready to pounce at the slightest complaint. Nonetheless, if they weren’t making any sounds I would frantically rush to lean over your railing and place my ear by their mouth just to make sure they were breathing. Fear was a huge factor in those early days. I trusted you to allow me what rest I could grab and to keep them well.
You did your part. Whether I used bumpers or not (since the advice changed with each kid’s birth) you worked around my naivety and did the heavy lifting. Every morning and every nap time I walked into a happy, healthy baby to greet me. I appreciate your good and faithful work.
Like the best kind of friend, you had no problem playing the supporting role. You made us laugh when a baby would manage to get the chubby thighs pushed through your rails and leave them calling in protest. Or when I had to suspend across the top of you like Spider Man to dangle a boob in an almost asleep baby’s mouth. You were so patient when a baby decided you were the perfect chew toy. You waited, eager and willing and empty as my boy refused you and preferred my bed.
Most times you just were present to the memories. As I cried next to you rocking a baby growing too fast. As a safe place to set down a screaming infant and walk away when frustration and exhaustion was getting the best of me. As one of my favorite memories ever, when I came home from a late shift of waitressing to find you holding a grown man just 18 years old with his legs out through your rails, as he was much too big, but desperately cuddling his baby to sleep in the new troughs of parenthood.
You gave me confidence to let them cry a little so I could shower, or eat, or just breathe. You held them in your arms so mine could have a moment’s rest. You gave me excitement as I stood beside you, not able to get too close because of my growing belly, but still imagining the babies you would hold.
Now, you offer all that and more in another home, with another family. My heart misses you. Misses those babies you held. But mostly I’m just grateful. Grateful that we had the blessing of “the crib years” and the growth of “the crib years” and the love of “the crib years”. You did your part. You provided your service. You are forever embedded in the memories of my baby’s youth. We molded them into wonderful toddlers together. And you, you were a helping hand in growing this mama up too.
A big kid mama
It may seem funny to feel so longingly towards a crib, but as my kids are suddenly 10, 6, and 2, I realize the beauty in the now is to be thankful for the details of the past, to be eager for the details for the future, and to be aware of the details of the present. It’s only when I am doing my best to equally do all three of those things that I don’t feel like their childhood is slipping away from me. Instead I am sopping it up like butter on a biscuit. Which is exactly how I want my motherhood to look. Kinda messy and raw but sopped up completely.