Sunday, January 24, 2010

Turn the Page

Not every week is dancing leprechauns and hookah-smoking possums. Sometimes, you stay close to home and get stuff done.

This is one of those "sometimes."

Loyal readers know that Joel decided to fling himself out of his crib, so we're moving on to stage two of Operation: Contain Baby---the big boy bed. We bought the twin mattress and the comforter with trucks (!) and stop signs (!!!). We cleared out every last choking hazard, set up the gate at the top of the stairs, and (gulp) moved Joel into Owen's room.

My boys are sharing a room. We're getting rid of the crib. It's the end of the baby era for us.

I'm mostly okay with this, except for the teeth marks. As we were breaking down the crib, I saw the little hash marks tattooed along the crib. Owen's teeth. Joel's teeth. My babies, my little teething babies, had gummed the crib, testing out their new teeth like an artist with a fresh box of pastels.

And seeing those little marks, it killed me. It just killed me.

I try not to be one of those boo-hooey moms, crying over every haircut or outgrown onesie. I mean, I don't even really like babies. The older they get, the more fun they become. They talk. Tell jokes. Climb. Run. Think.

At least that's what I tell myself.

But, it's different with Joel because there's that sense of finality. The lights are turned off, and it's time to leave Babyville. We won't be returning here again.

I could have spent all day being weepy about a piece of wood. Instead, I went to the library. 

The library adjusts my attitude like a spiritual chiropractor. Whenever I'm ready to throw in the towel, I'm reminded that a world with national parks and public libraries can't be all bad.

A place with books and music and computers---all free! A place that feeds my mind, renews my hope in new beginnings, and has a wicked-cool sailboat  for my kid...well, that's about as close to perfect as I'm going to find on a cloudy Saturday morning.

I can promise you that this kiddo is delighted to break down the boundaries of his life...each frustration transformed into a met challenge, another taste of independence.

I mean, why crawl when you can stand? Why sleep behind bars when there are truck comforters and shared big-boy bedrooms?

Libraries hold promises. Growing boys hold promises. I can weep over the passing of time, or I can turn the page, and see what's going to happen next.

Away we go!

(See Unknown Mami's site for additional tours of the world, through Sundays in My City)
Unknown Mami


Sonya said...

I really treasured my youngest sons moments a little more because I knew that was it. Although it's wonderful to see your kids grow up,it's hard knowing you won't have those first moments like you used to. However as they grow older we will experience other moments with them that make it just as sweet:)

I just love your posts:)

Corrie Howe said...

Nice way to work in something from our city.

Now you made me cry realizing my "baby" will be eight in a few months. And my first baby is talking about going to college and getting a teaching degree just in time to be his baby sister's High School teacher.

DUTA said...

Lovely post!
I like the passages with the baby teeth marks, and the library wonders.

Ms. Moon said...

Yes. Beautiful. We need to stop and acknowledge the passing of certain times but then we get up and yes, turn the page.
I just loved this.

Bethany said...

Oh what a beautiful sweet post, and always you make me laugh too, "I don't even LIKE babies."
Love libraries too and your analogy.
Good for you mama!

When did I become my Mom said...

This was so beautifully written hon. My heart aches for you.

They grow up altogether too fast.

(On another note, how cool is your library!)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I say, I kid's gotta do what a kid's gotta do. It's all part of growing up :-)

Looks like a terrific library. Thanks for sharing.


blueviolet said...

Onward we go into the future and into the growing up years! No more babies but more joy than you can possibly imagine is ahead!

Rebecca said...

"My babies, my little teething babies, had gummed the crib, testing out their new teeth like an artist with a fresh box of pastels."

Love this line to pieces!! My favorite of the whole piece. My kids did the same thing, but you put it into such beautiful words. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us tag along! What a great adventure to be had. Our boys really do help us see the excitement of life ahead. Let's help them remember that when they fall down, or roll out of bed, or long for a little taste of confinement once in a while.

Of course, a good snuggle is still in order. Really, they'll be little boys to us as long as we know them, won't they?

Marla said...

You are a very wise mom!

mama-face said...

You just took my breath away. The teeth marks? Spiritual chiropractor? oh my.

For me it was the feeling of emptiness on my lap. But, life moves on. You just have to hold those feelings deep in your heart for when the little (then big) munchkins are driving you crazy.

Michele said...

Awww, I hear ya on the teeth marks. I sniffled a bit at that myself.

But yay you on the library... !

Great post, Hon!

adrienzgirl said...

That last one is a killer as they reach those milestones you know mean I won't experience THIS anymore.

I feel ya! My baby is 7.

Tracie said...

Awww. They might not be babies any more but they are still little enough that you can catch them and smooch them.

erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erika said...

Meeting milestones and leaving the crib behind is a good thing and a time to celebrate :) Getting weepy over left-behind crib and teethmarks, instead of celebrating, is also a good thing. It shows that you have a sweet, tender, loving mommy-heart. I love the picture of Joel! No bars can restrain him :)

won said...

Twelve years later, I still remember the last time I nursed my son.

Some moments in time stay etched upon our soul, sans any written documentation for reference.

Mama Zen said...

I would have been weepy, too. Then I would have joined the possum at the hookah.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Wow! What a gorgeous and true post. That nagging feeling of nostalgia before the time is really past came out for me while reading this. I am forever feeling sad about a stage of development my boys are going through before it is even actually over.

Saying goodbye to babyhood is so bittersweet, because though I am like you and actually enjoy the toddler and older years even better, there are so many amazingly beautiful parts of babyhood too and it is strange to know that once they are over, you will never know your child in that way again. Those teethmarks you mentioned are so poignant and such a great example of a moment already gone. Thank you for this post. I enjoy your writing so very much. I hope you publish a book someday ... unless you already have an I don't know about it?

Coby said...

While I don't cry over outgrown onesies, I LOVE babies. Love, love, love. Just the other day I thought, "Hey, I could be Michelle Duggar. She never has to say goodbye to babyhood."

I love the mention of the teethmarks - brought tears to my eyes, it's so sweet.

But you're on to a great new phase!

Michelle said...

Awww well congrats on having your baby grow up! I bet he's thrilled to have a big boy bed!

Margo said...

lovely post. In a few short years you'll be so glad you have things like this to look back on :)

Traci said...

I'm turning that page, too. At moments, it is hard but you are right, there are infinite pleasures when babies grow into walking, talking kiddos!

Mrsblogalot said...

This was a great post Nancy!

I still cry a little inside over every little milestone.

I can't help it. I swear I was never this weepy (inside or out) before becoming a mother. 7 years into it and I'm still crossing emotional unknowns that never cease to amaze me.

Cat said...

This is just lovely. At every stage they leave so much behind but you gain so much too.

Caution Flag said...

Turning the page is good, but sometimes I like to keep my finger to mark that page, just in case I need to revisit it for a while.

Does he love the new bed?

Minivan Lover said...

What a big boy! Parker is still comfy cozy in his crib. How have the first 24(ish) hours gone of Operation: Room Sharing?

Unknown Mami said...

This made my heart ache a little bit.