For most of our marriage, there has been a crib near my side of the bed, filled with some little bundle or other, gurgling happily. When they get older, they throw toys overboard, which is cute in its own way. It is ironic that I have become attached to this because, when we were younger and poorer and lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and there was nowhere for Number One to lay his head except in our room, I had a heart of resentment.
But, lo and behold, when Number Two was born, and we lived in a real house with multiple bedrooms, her crib found its way into our room before she was even born. And so this was our tradition with each subsequent child.
But now we have come to the end of things, and Number Four is officially the longest resident of our room Ever. With every other child, I was pregnant by the time I moved them out, so it wasn't a big life changing event.
But now it is.
Saying goodbye to the crib and our little roommate is saying goodbye to an entire chapter of our life.
I have been putting it off. Certain people who shall remain nameless have been nagging me about it and then shaking their heads in pity when I tell them just a little longer.
But this week I realized it was time. For the first time, I woke him up on accident not once, but twice. He's a good sport, sits up in bed, gives me that irresistable sleepy smile. But the point was made: being here is no longer a comfort for him. It is a disruption. He is here for me, not vice versa.
So, come New Year's, we'll be moving the crib out. I won't know what to do with the empty space in our room, but I'm thinking my rocking chair will fit nicely there for now. I'm glad they are growing up and out. They should. But no one ever warned me about the empty spaces they leave behind.