Monkey Boy got a full-sized bed this weekend. He’s now too big for a crib or a toddler bed. This is the bed he will most likely sleep in until he moves out. I. Can’t. Breathe.
For the record, I’m not an idiot. I know this parenting thing is a temp gig. We get Monkey Boy for the better part of a couple of decades and then he’s on his own. If we do it right he calls us once a week to check in and we never have to bail him out of jail or put him in rehab.
I also know, barring divine intervention, this is my one shot. There are no plans for a little brother or sister for this kid. So as far as babies go, I’ve done my bit. Truth be told, while I have loved Monkey Boy since the moment I saw him, I didn’t really like the infant stage. One of my friends calls babies in the first year “the big sack of baby” time. They don’t DO a lot. The certainly don’t talk. They’re not funny. They have all these needs and pains and desires, and good luck to you Sherlock figuring it out. But there was this part of my day, every morning, when I got Monkey Boy out of his crib, and he would melt into my chest. I would just hold him for 10 minutes or so and I’ve never known such peace. That was sacred time. That time is quickly running out.
Overall, I like this time better. He is becoming this really fabulous kid. I enjoy his humor, his love, his absolute zeal for life. I’ve been calling him a toddler for as long as I can, but he’s a little boy now. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s a “big, strong boy.” He is, but he’s still the only little guy I’ve got. I don’t honestly know where the past 3 1/2 years have gone. We just got him! I worry I wish my time away. I wanted him to be walking, talking, potty trained… I’m so afraid he’s going to be driving next week and I won’t know where the time went. Then my time will be up, and he’ll be off conquering the world, and I’ll be left waiting for his weekly phone call.
This is why I’ve continued a career, tried to keep my marriage intact and kept interests that don’t concern him. I know that I can’t only be a mom or my life really will end when he’s gone.
I find comfort in how small he looks in his new bed. There’s still time. He’s still mine for a while longer. He still wants me around for just a little bit more. I have to be smart. I have to jealously guard our time together. I have to make sure to soak up every minute I can with this wild child. The next few years are going to have more and more of these big boy bed moments, and I have to figure out how to be sure I don’t wish them away, but to enjoy them as they happen.