This afternoon I laid my last baby down for the last time in our crib. Tonight, she’ll be sleeping someplace else. It was a bit emotional. It’s not that I’m overly attached to inanimate objects. But that nursery furniture represents so much more than just wood constructed together. It was a safe place for babies to sleep. That dresser held tiny pajamas and onesies and burp cloths galore. It was where I said goodnight to my children for the last 7 1/2 years. It’s where I took a few moments every night to watch my babies sleep so peacefully. I really didn’t think I’d be that emotional about getting rid of the nursery furniture, but I am.
We bought the set before we were parents. We went to Babies R Us and walked around the store before eventually deciding on what set to buy. A lot of the other people in the store were pregnant – we weren’t. It was little strange to be buying so much baby stuff without having a protruding belly. We were hopeful adoptive parents and were so excited to be waiting for a baby. At that time, we thought we were going to be parents to a baby boy. We should have known better, but we were young and naïve and so very early in the adoption process.
We painted the nursery. My husband assembled the furniture and I filled the dresser drawers with some baby basics. We were ready and that nursery made it seem so real. Until it wasn’t. That baby boy who we wrongly assumed was going to be ours went home with his mom. At the time, we were heart broken. Looking back, it was a huge blessing. We closed the nursery door. It was hard for me to look at the crib. That crib, a short time earlier, gave me so much hope. Now it left me feeling empty – just like the crib would remain.
Shortly after that heart break, we brought home another baby boy who did become our son. That nursery became his bedroom. I rocked him to sleep. Read him stories and tucked him in so many times in that room. We adopted two more times and both our girls also slept in that nursery- in that same crib.
I remember them each as tiny babies sleeping soundly in the crib. As they got a little older, sometimes I’d walk in and find them pulling up on the crib slats. Two of my kids eventually started climbing out of the crib. They all took turns being a monkey jumping in the crib. I loved when I would go in and they’d reach up for me to pick them up with a big smile on their face. There were also several nights where one of them wasn’t sleeping and I would rock them over and over again willing them to sleep. When they fell back asleep and I could lay them down in the crib again it was a sweet victory. As I tiptoed out of the nursery, I always stole one more glance. There’s not much else that’s sweeter than a sleeping baby.
Tonight, we are closing that chapter. Our nursery will be no more. But the memories will remain.