There are certain milestones in a child’s life that mark some sort of momentous ending of one phase and beginning of another. With the first child, each one is important, documented, cherished. Or, in some cases, full of tears, fear and longing.
You would think with the second child it would be a bit easier. You would be kinda wrong.
I say kinda because there is no anticipation anxiety. There is little “unknown” with number two. It’s more a matter of “when” vs. “what”.
Today Benjamin slept in his toddler bed for the first time. Today I rolled his crib out of his room. Today was the last day a crib will be used in this house. And today, just like five years ago with Swimmy, I was sad.
Today’s sad had the extra side order of Lightly Sauteed Mourning because while Swimmy was done with her crib for the time being, I knew someone else later on would be using it and I’d see a little face peering over the guard rail smiling a toothless grin one day.
But this time it’s permanent. This time I heard the distinct sound of large metal doors slamming shut and a heavy deadbolt being thrown to lock them. And it made my heart a little heavier.
Every day it’s getting harder to call him my Baby. Every day he looks more and more like a little Boy. And today, looking at him snuggling in that bed for the first time, I saw in his face an older Benjamin – a Bar Mitzvah Benjamin, a high-school Benjamin – a man.
I almost wheeled that crib right back in the room. But I didn’t.
I just tucked his Elmo under his arm and kissed his sleeping head. Then I prayed he’d still take his two hour nap. This shit takes it out of me.