Are you lonely? I've been thinking about you. Concerned for your welfare as our attic tops the 110 degree mark these dog days of summer. Wondering if you've been welcomed by the rest of the stash up there? Or if you are the new outcast.
The truth is... Your departure two months ago from the main level of our little rancher, specifically the bedroom where you held both of our babies safe and sound since we first assembled you in 2008, came a bit too abruptly for me.
In the span of 10 days, Little Miss went from sleeping on your mattress, set two rungs from the bottom - to 1 rung - and finally to the bottom, as she taught herself gymnastics fundamentals at lightning speed. Tapping into the "spring" factor in your mattress - she went from sleeping baby to downright dare devil in what seemed like a millisecond.
Macho never explored this. He was one month from his 3rd birthday when he transitioned to a big boy bed. Not 17 months. He stood inside you and just yelled for me when he woke from his naps, never considering an escape until WE decided it was time he try out a big boy bed. And that was only because we read that when a new baby is introduced - you should try and soften the blow with older siblings by moving them out well in advance of the arrival. So they don't feel kicked out.
Concerned for her safety, of course, and out of rungs to lower the mattress - we hurredly disassembled you one Sunday afternoon. I tried to help Clark with the process... I remembered the night we put you together was seriously some kind of cruel joke... but my emotions got the best of me.
I had to step away. In one fleeting moment - it all hit me. You were leaving. "Babyhood" as it were, was a now fairytale place. Mythical. Lost. Gone. You were suddenly replaced with a mattress an adult could sleep in. Say, wah?
I didn't feel this ache and sorrow when Macho made this step. I was pregnant with the little diva, so I was content that you were staying put awhile. We were still well within the Babyhood zipcode. And we were making the choice for him.
I turned my back to you and to Clark and stared down at the dresser and changing table... still stocked with diapers and creams... and the tears came. And then I walked out. Clark didn't even realize what the heck was going on with me until you were torn apart and half in the attic.
And even then... he's a guy. Without raging hormones... they depart in high school. And he just looked at me like I had three heads and was all.... "Are you OK?"
No. I'm not ok.
I'm not ready for my kids growing up. I'm not ready for you to move out and not cuddle them within your 4 safe little rails each night. I'm not ready for posters of rock bands and teen idols to be taped to the bedroom walls. I'm not ready for sleep overs and generally letting my babies out of my sight.
I'm not ready for them not to crawl up in my lap, and want me to read them a story. Not ready for them not wanna throw their pudgy little arms around me while I breathe in their sweet baby scent.
I feel like your exit marks the beginning of this next phase of parenthood, in which I feel clearly unprepared. Where my babies turn into kids who turn into teenagers, asserting their independence from Clark and I with every passing second. The gap widening as I cling to it with white knuckles.
And it scares the hell out of me.
So I just wanted to officially write. To make known my concern for your well being up there in the dry sauna that is our attic. To tell you I miss you. And that I hope I'll see you again someday.