May 12, 2008

A Big Girl Bed

As always Mother's Day is an endurance contest. It is an all day affair that makes me want to tear my hair out. Given the choice I'd ban the whole day and forget that it ever existed. I won't bore you with the story of the reasons why, suffice it to say that I have had enough of it.

What I really want to record for the sake of posterity is the utter joy exhibited by my daughter yesterday afternoon. Her happiness was the result of her finally receiving her big girl bed. The little girl with the long dark curls and the dark piercing eyes couldn't stop hugging and kissing me, all because I took down the crib and replaced it with a bed.

To be clear, the crib had long since been converted into a day bed. She is 3.75 now and ever so excited at the prospect of turning four, although if you ask her she may just tell you that she is seven. She knows exactly how old she is, but she also knows that her brother hates it when she claims to be his age.

It was hard taking the crib down. The actual work wasn't difficult. I put that sucker together 7.5 years ago, took it apart when we moved and reassembled it a time or two since. But this time was different. This time felt a bit more final, like I was moving into a new stage of life.

I remember as a kid being desperate to get older. I wanted so much to do so many things that were always just out of my reach. They were the usual things, a later bedtime, a driver's license, my own apartment, the chance to vote, the ability to buy alcohol etc.

In May of 1994 I was a 25 year-old bachelor. I lived in this great apartment in Encino. It was a one bedroom off of Ventura Boulevard that was within walking distance of a supermarket, restaurants, a coffee shops and all sorts of cool stuff.

The apartment complex was a bit of a dump, but the one bedroom I lived in was large and it was mine. I had a serious girlfriend, ok she was serious and interested in making future plans. I was serious about a lot of things, but a future wasn't something that I wanted to talk about.

I remember lying in bed one morning and being lectured about how I needed to plan for the future and that one day I might have children, even a daughter or two and how they'd need me to look out for them. Since this is a family blog I won't give you all of the details of my response, but suffice it to say that big girl bed was involved in the discussion. Use your imagination.

Later that day I lay on a raft in the swimming pool and tried to imagine what it would be like to be a father. It was something that I very much wanted to do, but I don't think that my daydreams came all that close to reality. Certainly I didn't understand just how much pleasure I would take in watching my baby girl tell everyone about her big girl bed with the Dora The Explorer sheets.

What I do know for certain is that at 25 it felt like I had an eternity of life in front of me. I had all the time in the world and now fourteen years later I alternate between feeling like that time is running out and that there is plenty left.

I suppose what I am really saying is that taking down the crib was hard. Have I really reached the point in my life where I can say that I am done making babies and all I have left to do is to raise them. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing more important than raising the children, and not much that is as fun as making them.. Oops, forgot the whole family blog thing.

Anyway, that dark haired beauty has nothing but praise for me and I can't help but eat it up. This morning she woke up and ran to find me to tell me how she slept gooder because she had a big girl bed. It made me feel even gooder to hear it.

Now if you'll excuse me I think that I need to go watch her sleep for a moment or two.


Rulers of Chelm said...

I remember this - 4 times over! Kids are great, right? Ahhh. Brings back good memories. Thanks Jack.

Miriam L said...

It doesn't get much gooder than that.

V-Grrrl said...

My youngest is almost 11 now and as I unpacked from this move I've finally had to admit I can't carry the souvenirs of her baby and preschool days (as well as her brother's) forward in life. I've finally been able to send most of the remnants of early childhood to Goodwill or the landfill.

Z said...

She certainly loves her Daddy bestest.

RivkA with a capital A said...

When I gave away our crib, my "baby" was almost 7.

Giving the crib away was like closing a book and wishing there was still another chapter.

We've finished a few more "books" since then.

I blink my eyes, and the years just fly by.

Treasure every second!

I still love watching my kids sleep.

Jack said...


Four times the love.


Nope, it doesn't.


One of these days I'll concede that point, but not yet.




I do. Time moves so quickly.


I bet.