Tonight, you wouldn’t fall asleep. At 9:58pm, you tossed and turned, coughing and whimpering. My heart ached as I yearned to hold you, knowing that would only keep you awake. Instead I worked.
And then I got this crazy idea.
I would give some of the baby bedding you no longer use to a friend who is having a baby girl soon. After-all, you only need your sheets and blanket, and her baby bedding is so similar to your own… I was so excited when I pitched the idea to her. Your crib bumper, diaper hanger, and laundry basket (which has been replaced with one more suitable for riding in- one of your favorite things to do)… I gathered them all up, and I put them together- ready to go. To go.
They’re leaving me.
The beautiful tea roses I chose so carefully for you. My first born. Those items are a part of my baby, a part of me growing up. They are you. Or they were a part of you, before you started growing up. They’re unneeded, but never unwanted.
I packed them up and they are leaving my hands, just like your childhood. Slipping away are the moments where I can comfort you with any success, and you just want to do it yourself. I never knew the last day would come that you would declare yourself unwanting of a diaper. I never know I would miss your fluffy butt running around the house. Or, like your last night in the crib, that your toddler bed would not accommodate a bed skirt. That beautiful skirting your Mima washed and dried… which shred it to pieces, leaving the two of us running to Target for a replacement. You see, Addie, the bedding had been discontinued, but I knew it was the right bedding for you. It was beautiful and feminine, but not overtly pink or childish. It reminded me of a tea party, with sweet roses and green grass. Of a girl who would… who
would be is you. So we called stores and asked them to check the shelves for this tea rose crib skirt. And your Mima finally found it. She shipped it up to me. Your room was ready weeks before you arrived and months before you ever slept in it. But it was your room. For my first baby. For you.
You. All of you. You are mine, and yet I have to give you over to yourself. To be Adelaide Eileen, and all that entails.
I will miss that bedding. Those roses I so gently chose for you, through glowing hopes and dreams and a growing belly. I chose you, as much as you chose me.
So it just happened that tonight, Dear Adelaide… I got a crazy idea. I packed up your things, and I put them together, ready to go. To go.
Then, I crept into your room, and I sat next to your bed… a bed we were given by a friend, and I imagined she may have sat and wept, too, as her daughter once slept in the same small space, knowing it was ending. That stage had come to a close and the last day chose us, before we even had a say.
I came back to my desk and I sat to write… and it is raw, and the tears are hot. But I let you sleep. Because you don’t need me right now- you need your dreams. So dream, my child. My dear Adelaide, for you are my dream, and I once slept as you do now, may you one day know the elation and pain motherhood can bring.
Always loving you,