This, dear readers, is making me so sad this week.
No, not the mess or the three shades of paint in the wall—it’s the deconstruction of our nursery that is fairly breaking my heart.
I have always loved this room.
I remember installing the hardwood floors, pregnant and nauseous but full of optimism, hope, energy, dreams. I remember the furniture trickling in with each holiday and baby shower that passed that first pregnant year.
Everything in this room has a beloved relative’s name attached to it, a story, a purpose. It was all chosen by a young mother-to-be who knew nothing yet of babies but who couldn’t wait to learn it all.
A mother-to-be who had time to carefully fold, put away, and label everything in the room, once upon a time.
Everything in this room comes with a story, like the beautiful cross-stitch from a good family friend and how she brought tubs of Ben & Jerry’s and we sat there eating ice cream and marveling at this tiniest of creatures I had made.
And the chicken on the floor rug that our cherished cat, Rocky (rest in peace), always attacked with a move we called “kangaroo pants.” It was always the chicken.
And the changing table where baby Vincenzo consistently peed on Aunt Jeanette and only Aunt Jeanette when she tried to change him there.
And this tile I added to the room after Angelo’s birth and death to remind me to keep moving forward.
I remember sitting in the green glider before each baby was born, rocking and dreaming of what life would be like. Then later I’d rock in that chair holding my newborn baby and wonder and wonder at how the reality was so much sweeter, so much bigger than the dream. Because I had really dreamed big.
It’s been ten years since we laid down those hardwood floors. Four awful pregnancies that I sometimes thought I wouldn’t survive. Four beautiful babies who were so worth it.
And now, three big boys.
The quiet sacredness of newborns has been replaced by the loud hilarity of young children. Like now, as I am typing, Rocco has made Leo a fort and Leo emptied an entire bag of gnaan into it, followed by a box of shell noodles (yes, opened and yes, all over the floor). He followed that up by sticking some beads on a board and telling me he made “a doggie and a zombie.” Vincenzo and Rocco are cracking up. We all laugh a lot.
But also, as I type, Kevin is ripping off the wainscoting in the nursery, getting it ready for its “big boy” status.
While I am feeling crushed about the deconstruction of the nursery, I’m not exactly laying down in my grave to die. I am still a young-ish mother with optimism and hope, only now with a few gray hairs mixed in. I still have energy (though maybe not as much). I still have dreams, if a little bit smaller than before.
I have more now, too. I have wisdom, confidence, maturity, and an ocean’s worth of love that I didn’t have ten years ago. I have stories and memories that get us all laughing again. I have the family of my dreams to go through life with.
But still. Nobody in my house needs to be rocked anymore or falls asleep on my chest, heaving tiny breaths while I sit there feeling like I am falling in love for the millionth time, knowing that this baby is falling in love even harder because it is his very first time.
Kevin tells me he’ll fill in and heave tiny breaths on my chest if I want. I roll my eyes. (At least one of my boys will never grow up.)
I’ve just always hated goodbyes and somehow, taking down the nursery feels like a forever goodbye.
So MrsMouthy is a little sad this week. And look–now you are too.
But it’s all right. With these three stooges around, we’re too busy laughing to sit around feeling sad for long.