Yesterday I took apart Audrey’s crib and put together her new “big girl bed.” I’d bought it at IKEA and the boxes had been sitting in the hallway for a few weeks. I was waiting until the new bedding I’d so carefully selected came in the mail. I was waiting until my sciatica wasn’t as disabling. I was fearful of my toddler, who refuses to go to bed nightly, suddenly having the choice to stay in her bed or not.
But mostly, I was dreading taking apart the crib that you put together for her.
I had offers from a few other men to do it for me. But I knew, for this very reason, I had to do it myself.
Then, without much thought, I decided at around 3 pm yesterday, I would do it. “Audrey, mommy’s going to put together your big girl bed,” I say getting out my toolbox. “Say goodbye to your crib.”
But really, it is me who must say goodbye to the crib. To the baby I had who is now almost three years old. To the crib because there will not be the “second baby” we were planning on. To my season of being a new, young mother. Before I was a widow.
It takes a matter of minutes really to disassemble the crib. (Assembling the bed took a lot longer and included various profanities and vows of never purchasing another piece of furniture I need to put together.)
Each screw I turn and un-tighten, is one that you tightened and put in.
Tears run down my face. I do it quickly. The pieces of birch colored wood fall to the ground one by one. I stack them neatly against one another in the hallway.