It’s just a crib, I know.
My baby girl learned to crawl out of her crib and I’m feeling a mix of emotions. First, I’m a little worried that at 21 months she is nowhere near being ready for a big girl bed and I can just imagine her getting out every five minutes so that I will never sleep again! But mostly I’m feeling this pit of dread growing bigger and bigger in my stomach because we will have to take down the crib.
My babies’ crib.
This crib was the very first piece of brand new furniture we ever bought! Everything else in our first apartment (and for years really) was handed down by family or friends or found at a garage sale or thrift store. Our bed, the couches, our dining table and chairs, the TV and entertainment center, ALL of it.
I cannot explain to you how excited I was to buy and bring home that crib! We weren’t even pregnant yet but I wanted babies so badly and it was on sale as a floor model so I bought it. I remember just staring at it in the corner of our bedroom while my husband was in rehab. So determined to move on with life anyway. And even though he wasn’t sober yet, we started having babies (we did things a little inside out and backward and somehow only by God’s grace it worked out).
I decorated a little nursery around that crib and brought home first Isaiah then Eli in just over two years. We moved that crib from room to room and to five different houses…setting it up and taking it down, raising the mattress and lowering it down. We had James and made the 1,000 mile move to Utah then added Luke and Elizabeth.
It has baby teethmarks and a stuffed blue lion tied to the rungs whose tail pulls to play the lullaby song that I’ve listened to at least a thousand times over the monitor after bedtime.
That crib has been in our home for 13 years just waiting for the next baby to come along but now I have to take it down. For good. My littlest baby is 21 months old and her baby rolls are fading a little more every day and there will be no more babies in this house (sob).
I realize how silly and selfish this sounds. There are so many who’ve longed for just one baby or endured miscarriage after miscarriage or difficult pregnancies on bedrest or traumatic births and babies with health consequences. I realize my children are SUPPOSED to grow up and what a gift it is to watch them grow. I realize I should be overcome with joy at the opportunity to have birthed five babies. And I am! I am on-my-knees grateful for ALL of it.
But then this melancholy sets in.
Because this tiny little piece of me wonders what I’ll do next? This tiny little piece of me wonders who I am without a baby? This itty-bitty piece remembers the feeling of a faint pink line and a growing belly and those tiny little kicks from the inside and anticipating a little boy or girl and that moment…
That raw, beautiful moment when a new person arrives, squalling and cheese-covered in the middle of so much pain and plops up on my bare chest…and that intense hormone-filled animalistic love that immediately follows.
And I wonder if I’ll ever experience anything quite so beautiful again?? A living, breathing, tangible miracle??
I’ve had several stages in my life when I’ve wished I could slow down time…just reach out my hand and push it back for a while. But like reaching my hand out to stop water in a rushing stream I can only feel that building pressure as my hand tumbles against the turbulent waters. I have no choice but to flow along in the current letting the water swirl around me, in and around my fingers, so as to feel every drop.
It is so much more than just a crib.
Life is just a continual letting go…