December 1, 2014 by Heather
In the midst of putting up Christmas decor yesterday, I went for a walk to get some fresh air and escape the chaos of giant tupperware tubs, faulty twinkle lights, and an overflowing sink and laundry basket. The goal was to get it all put up while Parker napped, but that didn’t exactly happen, so upon his waking we just shoved what was left into the kitchen and put up the baby gate. And out I went.
I think getting nostalgic around the holidays is something that happens to everyone. Lately everything seems to remind me of a memory from the past — the smell of a certain soap or the reminder of a former family tradition. It’s all good stuff, nothing bad that makes me shudder when it pops into my head, which I count as a blessing. It just quietens me and makes my heart feel, I don’t know, heavy. Like the weight of the time past is just sort of sitting there, swollen with all of these memories and flashbacks and days gone by. And I’m never sure what to do with it… except let it sit there for a minute, feel the heaviness, wipe my eyes, take a deep breath, and move on.
When I got back from my walk, Andrew was headed into the garage to “get some tools to take one side off of Parker’s crib,” a.k.a., turn it into a big boy bed.
“Wait, what? Now? You’re going to do that right now?” My heart sank.
“Yeah, it’s time, babe. He identified a rain cloud today. It’s time.” Ah, a man’s rationale.
He was right though — on the way home from spending a few days at Andrew’s parent’s house, Parker was talking in the backseat about what he saw out his window. “Look mommy! A rain cloud!” Sure enough, the clouds were gray and low. Smart kid. Dang it.
I couldn’t really argue with Andrew’s reasoning. We’d been saying we needed to do it for a while and even already have a twin-size bed for when he’s ready for that. He could climb out of his crib if he wanted to, it was only a matter of time. I just wasn’t quite prepared for the abruptness of it. A crib symbolizes I put you in bed and I get you out of bed when I’m ready to do so. A regular bed symbolizes a bit of independence on Parker’s end and a loss of control on my end, two things that will continue to happen and two things that will continue to throw me for a loop and make me cry in the shower, of this I am sure.
He loves his “new” bed and has done marvelously with it. This post isn’t meant to wax poetic about the rollercoaster emotions of motherhood or even be about how parenthood is like having your heart live outside of your body (even though it is, and even though I’m kind of sick of that saying)…. It’s just meant to say that I’m feeling all the feelings and I need a brownie and maybe a medium fry, that’s all.
“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”
― Pema Chödrön