God, what will I do when he goes away to college?
There's a school bus stop right across the street from our house. I've seen many parents weeping there on the first day of school as the bus drives off with the newly-minted kindergarteners.
"That's sweet," I've always thought. Still, how emotional should one become over this milestone? After all, all children must eventually go to school.
Just as all children must eventually sleep by themselves.
After Lion was born, he roomed in with me at the hospital, sleeping right beside my bed or in my arms at all times. After we came home, he spent his nights within arm's reach, sleeping swaddled and peaceful in the bassinet of my own babyhood.
But recently my sleep had been routinely interrupted by the sounds of grunts and wiggles as the baby struggled to free himself from the carefully-wrapped receiving blanket. Or I'd peer in and see him puddled at the bottom of the bassinet, his feet kicking against the padded frame as he slept. One night we tried putting him down unswaddled, but his little arms flailed and hit the sides, waking all of us.
"He takes up a lot more room in there than he used to," Mike mused.
Reluctantly, I agreed. Suddenly our tiny baby was too big for the bassinet.
Last night we finally worked up the courage to put him to sleep in his crib, in his own room. We dressed him in a little nightgown and socks so his legs and feet wouldn't get cold. We cleared the crib of every superfluous blanket and toy and potential suffocation hazzard. We carefully positioned the baby monitor next to the crib, testing it several times to be sure we could hear any alarming noises.
"Gah!" Mike said softly, leaning down by the crib.
"I heard it!" I called from our bedroom.
Next I took a picture of him in the crib, already asleep and oblivious to the flash.
Lastly, I cried.
And you know what? Those four hours he slept before the night feeding were the best sleep I've had in weeks.
Still, I'm glad he's too little for kindergarten. I don't think my heart could stand it.