Before I was a parent, I didn’t really appreciate how poignant the small things can be. Now that I have children, the smallest things are so important to me and seem so much more monumental than I ever thought possible. Each milestone my children reach hits me in the sentimental heart that I didn’t ever really know I had before. First breaths, first smile, first steps, all such huge moments in my life as a parent.
Tonight my son reaches a new milestone. He will be sleeping in his new toddler bed and not in his crib for the first time. He is beginning to become a boy and not merely a baby. No longer does he need the safety and security of bars to hold him in. Now staying in bed is his responsibility. I hope he is ready! There is a part of me that longs to hold him in the crib for just a little longer, to make him stay a baby for a few more days, or a few more weeks. I know though that he is as ready as he can be, that he has outgrown the crib and that to hold him back would not be in his best interests. There is a part of me that wants to say, "Wait, he isn’t ready. Let’s leave him in the crib a little longer, please." Of course, I can’t say that. I can’t hold him back as he grows and moves into a new phase in his life.
How can a simple act such as moving a baby out of a crib cause such a conflict in me? How can the thought of my son sleeping on a real bed move me to tears? I didn’t expect to feel this way. When we were working this morning on his room, taking down the crib and setting up the new bed, no one warned me what a monumental step this would be now that the moment is almost here. I feel the same way I did when he took his first step and I realized that he was no longer an infant and that my days of carrying him snuggled up were limited as he stretched his wings and learned to use his new mobility to explore the world. I just hope that he won’t grow up too fast. That we still have many of those precious baby moments left. I guess a baby won’t be a baby forever, and I had better learn to grow with him, so that we are both ready for this next phase, with whatever challenges and wonders await us.