Recently I acquired a twin bed for Sean. Heretofore, the poor giraffe-legged child had been sleeping in a toddler bed. Toddler bed, we all know, is code for “crib on the ground”.
I know what you are thinking. “What is wrong with y’all? Can you not even manage to get your six-year-old child a decent bed?”
And the answer to that is apparently not, at least not in a timely manner.
Several times when we’ve had other children at the house, I have overheard them laughing at Sean’s itty bitty bed. And although it didn’t bother him, it made me realize that it was probably time to get him out of the toddler bed.
But finding a new bed wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be.
It took me a while to find the bed I wanted. For one thing, I wanted an old-fashioned 1950s Beaver Cleaver kind of twin bed. For months, I searched Craig’s List and eBay and garage sales to no avail.
As it turns out, the Catholic grade school that I attended closed a year or so back and they sold off all the furniture in the convent and my mother bought one of the twin beds. When she found out we were looking for an old fashioned twin bed, she offered it to us. There is great irony to think that my son is now sleeping in the bed of a now-dead nun who used to routinely whack the holy snot out of me.
At any rate it is a really nice bed, solid maple and just as old-fashioned as it can be. And the best part – free!
So when my parents came to visit recently, they brought the bed with them and joyful sounds were heard throughout the kingdom upon its arrival.
The next day when AD left for work, I dropped Sean off at school and then my parents and I high tailed it to Sam’s and bought a mattress and box springs. When we got home, I quickly disassembled the crib-on-the-floor and hauled it up to the attic while my dad set up the “new” bed.
Mom and I put on the brand new sheets, fluffed the pillows and then stood back to gaze upon the marvelous new bed. And we felt much happiness and no sadness. None. We did however feel tiredness. We had been working at a feverish pace because we knew we had to get the job done before AD got home and put the skids to our merry making.
AD does not like change. AD would not want to take the toddler bed down. AD would have to rend his garments and cry into the crib sheets. He would have to kneel by the tiny bed and hang his head in sorrow. He would have to weep as he tenderly ran his fingers over the rough patches on the frame where tiny teeth once gnawed. He would have a goodbye ceremony. He would write the bed a little letter and tape it to the bed frame. And this could take weeks, maybe even months. All while I stood quietly and respectfully off to the side tapping my foot and looking at my watch. All while Sean asked over and over and over when he was going to get to sleep in his new bed.
When Sean got home from school, he took a flying leap into his new bed and declared it awesome. He loved it.
When AD got home from work, he did not declare the new bed awesome, but rather said, “Oh. A new bed.”
And I could see what he was thinking: “I didn’t know that last night was the last night I would get to tuck him in the little bed.” And while I have sympathies for his sentimentalities… no wait, I really don’t.
So later that day AD asked me, he said, “Do you not even feel a little bit of sadness that the old bed is gone?”
“Not even a little? Not just a teeny tiny tinge of sadness?”
“No. I feel glee.”
He half smiled at me.
I half smiled back.
AD weeps at what he leaves behind.
I look forward to what lies ahead.
It all works out, for at long last, our six-year-old sleeps in a proper bed.