Big Boy Bed

Big Boy BedIt was bound to happen. I mean he was three-and-a-half already. But that doesn’t mean I was ready for my little boy to come waltzing out of his room after he was tucked safely into his crib.

He finally did it. He figured out how to climb up out of the side while using his neighboring dresser as a makeshift ladder.

There he stood in our darkened living room well after bedtime grinning from ear to ear. He had escaped. And he was thrilled.

It’s the first time he’s ever really wanted to come out. He’s never really tried to get out on his own before that.

But that night a month ago was the first of many, many nights (and afternoons for naps) that he helped himself out of his confinement. He claimed that he was “done sleeping,” but part of me knew he was too proud of his newfound freedom to stay caged any longer.

He was growing up.

So we took down the side rail of his crib and transformed it into his brand new big-boy bed. Aside from being a little disappointed that he hasn’t grown into a T-Rex yet (something he’s always wanted to be when he grows up) he has been completely elated with his new sleeping arrangements.

I was less than elated.

My boy. My perfect little rainbow baby. The child who brought more smiles to my face and love to my heart after Luca died than anything else. How can it be that he is growing up so fast? How is he big enough for a crib-less bed?

I was surprised at how hard it was for me to make up his new bed. I tucked the sheets in carefully while pondering how quickly things can change.

A couple weeks later I held this same son’s hand as we walked down the steps to registration at his new preschool.

Again my heart was heavy as I began to internalize what that registration symbolized. Is he really old enough for preschool? Am I really going to have to let him go, without me, twice a week? Can’t I swaddle him close and keep him with me for the rest of his life?

I can’t help but feel like time is racing by for my fourth little baby boy. Sure we’ve made it through the difficult nighttime feedings and I’m more than beyond ecstatic that we survived his potty training days. But that doesn’t mean I am ready for him to “grow up.”

When I sit back and truly think about it, thoughts of inadequacy and doubt creep into my mind. Have I played with him enough? Have we read enough stories together? Did I rock him to sleep as many times as I could have? Sing him enough lullabies? Have we played PJ Masks as many times as possible?

Then I reassure myself that I could waste away asking myself these questions. I know I have done my best. We have built a blanket “HQ” in my room every day for weeks. I can’t tell you how many Lego dinosaurs I have made. And I have found my puzzle piecing soul mate. We have cuddled and snuggled away many, many afternoons. I have loved him to the best of my ability every day of his life.

And when I start to get teary eyed and can’t bear for him to get any older, I close my eyes and picture that grin on his face. The one he wore when he figured out how to get out of his crib and came to find me. That same grin flashed across his face when he met his new preschool teacher and got to play with the T-Rex she had in her toy box.

He’s ready. I can’t hold him back. Nor should I.

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