“When people are ready, they change.” – Andy Warhol
Change is inevitable. Some changes are big. Other changes are small. But all changes require time and a little bit of bravery.
“Mommy, I think I’m ready for a bigger bed.”
His voice was small and uncertain, as if he had waited quite some time to actually utter the words aloud. I turned to find him staring at the floor, twirling a loose thread hanging from his favorite fire truck shirt. He was nervous, unsure whether or not he made the right choice.
I knelt down to the walnut colored hardwood floor and met his downcast eyes.
“If you’re ready we’ll order your new bed on Saturday. If you decide you need more time, that’s still ok. You get to choose, sweet boy. This is for you.”
With a heavy sigh he melted into my arms. Staring out the window, he checked out for a little while.
“I’m ready, I just don’t want to miss my crib.”
Finding his way between little and big sometimes leaves him confused.
“Four is hard sometimes. Some days you feel big and other days you feel little. But your crib will always be stored in the garage, right next to Riley’s.”
The request for a change certainly shouldn’t have felt so momentous. At four, he seems to grow by the day. His converted crib looks smaller and smaller as each day passes. And yet, it keeps him cozy. He feels safe in the small space. It’s his little place to just be…
We never once pushed the “big boy bed”. In fact, we never even used those words. Labels lead to expectations and expectations cause stress. Sean and I decided long ago to simply let our kids grow on their own schedules. Eventually…they will both be big.
While Riley wanted a new bed the minute she turned three, Liam had no interest. We checked in every once in a while, but he always provided the same response, “I like my crib.”
And like it, he did. Much like is daddy; sleep has always come easily to Liam. He slept through the night at five months – no training required. He has never once asked for a sip of water, an extra story, an extra song, or an extra anything. He has his routine and he falls fast asleep after the last of the “I love yous” are uttered.
If he didn’t want to change, there never seemed to be a reason to do it.
Until he was ready.
I always knew that I would struggle when we put the last of the cribs away. I struggled to have them. I fought long and hard. And as much as I might always long for one more, a third just doesn’t seem possible. Moving up is a difficult task when you know it’s the last of each little stage.
Tears formed at the corner of my eyes as I drifted off to sleep last night, knowing that this morning would be the last time I would find my baby boy in his little bed.
Big is coming, whether or not I’m ready for it.
The morning was fast and full of moving, dismantling, and rebuilding. Furniture was moved. And old bed was unmade and a new bed was made. There was no time for sadness or longing.
There was only time for change.
A few small tears began to escape as I watched my sweet little boy climb into his new, bigger bed adorned with his favorite construction trucks. I started to feel just a little bit sad. The longing kicked in ever so slightly.
Until his sweet little voice extended the invitation of a lifetime…
“Now you can snuggle me in my bed, Mommy. Come on. Come lay with me.”
And just like that, with a wipe of a tear and a melting a melting heart, I snuggled my way through the change.
As any brave mommy would do…I did my best to simply embrace it.