I got home from my trip to Atlanta, and your Dad had moved the toddler bed into your room, right next to your crib. It was the first thing I noticed when I walked upstairs. I don't know why I did this, but that night, I asked you if you wanted to go to bed in your big boy bed. I was secretly hoping you would say no. But you didn't. You looked at me and said "Okay Mommy". You cuddled up with your favorite blankey and laid down with a smile on your face. I gave you a kiss and told you I loved you.
I turned around and walked out the door, after I closed it, I stood there and listened for a minute, just like I did when your brother made this transition. I was fully expecting to hear you hop out of bed and start rummaging around your room.
Nothing. Totally quiet.
Twenty Minutes later, I came to check on you. You were still awake, laying there making cute noises and talking to yourself. Still.... a big smile on your face, as if to tell me that you were okay with this choice to sleep in your big boy bed. I sat on the edge of your bed and just looked at you. It's like you could tell that I was having a particularly hard time leaving your room this time because you reached up with your hand and started stroking my face gently, outlining my eyes, nose, chin, cheeks and forehead... repeating in a soft voice every time I named the facial feature you were pointing to. You grabbed my face with both hands and pulled me close into an eskimo kiss.
"Night Mommy", you said.
This was your way of telling me to go now, it was okay. You were okay. It hit me that you were completely fine, you are completely old enough, and mature enough to handle this transition. So why wasn't I?
"I love you sweetie", I said. And reluctantly, I turned around and left your room, for a second time.
For the next ninety minutes, I couldn't stop thinking about what a big boy you were. How smoothly this transition was going. How different this was from your Big Brother's experience with moving from his crib to his toddler bed. I was so proud of you, yet so NOT ready to be in this stage yet.
As I wandered upstairs for bed, of course, I had to come in to check on you, for a third time. And there you were, fast asleep. I immediately felt tears well up. Why was I getting so emotional about this. It's silly really, right??
But I realized, that this transition, was about a lot more than you just giving up your crib. It was about yet another milestone you were reaching, that was bringing you closer to being a little boy, and less of a baby. And to be honest, that terrifies me. Obviously, I'm so proud and excited with every new thing you learn, and all the small (yet significant) milestones you reach. But this? This was forcing me to accept that this was one of the last pieces of your baby-hood I had left. And you were fine with leaving it behind. I wasn't ready. I'm not ready.
So I scooped you up out of your bed and held you in my arms. You woke up and looked at me, and I asked you "Easton, can I lay you back down in your crib?" to which you replied "Okay Mommy". I kissed you for the last time that night and laid you in your crib. You curled up and went right back to sleep.
Would you have been fine sleeping the entire night in your toddler bed? Absolutely. But you know what, I am just not ready for you to grow up in that way. I'm just not. It might be selfish of me to hold you back, it is selfish of me. But you, you are my baby. And you seem to be okay with that, too.
The big boy bed can wait.