“Oh my God. Did you hear that?” Joe asked me in a panic. I struggled to process what he was saying. I had heard a noise, but I had been dreaming, so everything was foggy and confusing. Then, I heard Jonas wailing. This was definitely not his typical whiny morning cry. I jumped up and headed toward his room. He was already waddling out of his room and met me in the hallway. “Oh, thank God. He’s walking. He’s not bleeding. Nothing appears broken. Eye movement seems normal. He’s ok.” My mind was spinning as I considered all the ways in which this could have gone terribly wrong. I was so grateful.
Tonight, before we settled into our chair to snuggle and read our nightly books, I had to take care of something. While Jonas played with his newly inherited Duplos, I looked carefully at the mattress support brackets. There was only one more bracket to go, the last one, at the bottom. Suddenly, a bittersweet feeling washed over me. It was only this same time last year that Jonas was getting used to sleeping in his crib, at the top level. Now, he’s at the bottom level. Next thing you know, it’ll be time to move to a big bed, and I think high school graduation comes the following week, or that’s how they say it feels, anyway. How could an entire year have passed already??I don’t really want him to stop growing, although I suppose I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t grow so fast. Every parent knows deep down, though, that this isn’t possible. This is just one of those things that makes you relish your role as a parent. You know your child’s time as a child will be short-lived. It’ll be wonderous, sweet, and fun-filled most of the time; and, it’ll make you cry and drive you mad on occasion; but, these are the things that make it all the sweeter.
So, while I lowered the mattress, I asked Jonas to select the books that he wanted to read tonight. They’re almost always the same: Jamberry, Good Night Moon, and Lullaby and Good Night or Time for Bed. We sat down in our chair and began to flip through the pages. Jonas’ drowsiness set in fast tonight. We didn’t even get all the way through Good Night Moon. But this time, instead of getting up quickly and putting him into bed like I normally do (after all, a mom has so many things to do after the children are in bed!), we stayed for a long time in the rocking chair. I rocked and rocked him, listening to his breath, and gazing down at his ever maturing face. I tried to linger in time, hoping it might just stop, even if only for a few minutes, before I wake up and realize this precious time is over.