Last Tuesday night - August 17, 2010 - was the last night I tucked Mitch into his crib. The following morning before I left bright and early for my volunteer site, I crept into his room to peek, pat his head and wish him a happy day. Mitch almost never wakes up but that morning, he rolled over and said, "Hi Mommy." He attempted to get up but I told him to put his head down again and go back to sleep. I covered him up, kissed his head and left for the day.
Mom and dad would have him that night into Thursday. Thursday night, after a long day of service learning with middle schoolers, I get Mitch ready for bed and we sit on the day bed in his room reading stories. He pulls the covers back, slides under and rests his head on the pillow, sticks his thumb in his mouth and mutters, "Night Night." Just like that. The kid tells me, no more crib mommy. I'm ready for a big boy bed. I was surprised but I went with it. I asked him if that was what he wanted...if he was ready. No resistance.
So out came the trundle and we did a little makeshift bed with some sheets and a king size comforter and a few pillows. I tucked him in and about an hour later, he was still there, in the same spot, sleeping soundly with his blankets and frogs on the big boy bed.
We haven't looked back. The crib came down Sunday night and Vince and I both stared at it, in pieces, and remembered the day we picked it out and set it up. How excited we were...how we tried a few spots in the room before settling on it's home on the right side of the room. The receipt taped to the bottom read May 9, 2008, exactly 3 weeks before he was born. Sans that in the room, it feels a little bigger. We rearranged some furniture and look forward to hanging up some of his artwork.
A crib symbolizes baby...smallness...nursery. I remember when he really started spending naptime and bedtime in there vs. the cradle and the bassinet, about 3 months old. I remember when we dropped the mattress in it from the highest setting...I think he was about 8-9 months and standing up in it! All these little milestones. I love how he moves forward, growing up, loving it, loving life, and while I'm a little teary eyed that his chubby infant/baby days are gone, I'm also loving every second of him at 2.
Somedays I do miss them that small and I want another...but then I stare at him sleeping soundly and I see a bit of myself in his face and I wonder how I can possibility love anyone as much?
The crib is in the basement right now...It'll hang out with us for a while longer. You never know.