Mamas. It is the end of an era. Today we reached a milestone. Today we got rid of the race car bed that my son has slept in since he left his crib seven years ago. In just a few short hours, this piece of Little Tikes history vanished and a new, queen-sized bed took its place. I look at the new bed and all I can think is that now he’s old enough to have a college degree and a mortgage. (He’s nine.) The new bed is massive and grown-up looking and why are there no Spider-Men on his sheets? Surely no child of mine is old enough to sleep in a bed like that. Heck, I’m barely old enough to sleep in a bed like that. (I’m 48.) I would lie to you and tell you that I didn’t burst into tears tucking the Minecraft comforter around the edge of that race car bed for the last time, but I think we all know what really happened.
Y’all. I was TRAUMATIZED.
It all happened so quickly, as milestones seem to do. My husband disassembled the sacred race car bed with the same tender care and emotion he showed when tearing up our old carpet. Meanwhile, I was sitting in the corner of my son’s room, rocking back and forth, holding stuffed animals, singing the Paw Patrol theme song, wiping my tears away with onesies. I did not take this well, friends.
This was the bed that saw sleepless nights and blanket forts and bedtime stories and stuffed animal mountains. This was the same bed that acted as a foundation for my son as we moved from country to country and state to state until finally settling here. He had different places and different rooms, but the race car bed was a constant. No matter what his little day held, he always fell asleep in his safe place. Now it was leaving us. It was leaving him. He didn’t seem phased by it; he was excited about it actually, while I was a totally unexpected mess. Is this what it will be like from now on? Him jumping at every new milestone with excitement and a sense of adventure while I sit in the corner, crying, drinking wine out of his old sippy cup? Maybe it gets harder for us and easier for them. I wonder if that’s what makes it harder.
But Mamas, let me tell you what happened once the new bed was assembled: the room wasn’t the only thing that transformed before my eyes. My son did too. He had outgrown that race car bed in more ways than one. I see that now. The tiny clothes and toddler memories are still here. They’re still packed away. Now there are sweatshirt hoodies and car line memories. One day, I’ll pack those away, too. But not today. Not this evening. I’ll snuggle up next to him, read him a bedtime story, and watch him fall asleep. I still have time. I still have a little bit longer before the college degree and the mortgage.