Sunday, May 17, 2015

When I Dismantled The Crib And Assembled The Future

Six and a half years since we first purchased it, my wife and I disassembled our crib. It was bought from IKEA before our older son was born, a product of copious research and guarded certainty. My older son used it for a couple of years and now my younger one has also graduated from it after nearly three years of occupancy.

We dismantled it tonight. Piece by piece of the carefully constructed frame, into which we put our children night after night for many years, when they weren't pouring out into our beds out of the desire to cozy up, feel good during sickness, or put it simply, check that their parents are indeed there.

We dismantled it tonight, triggering a glut of memories about the first time their tiny frames were put in that seemingly gargantuan crib. Where crib mobiles were put to entertain them and hypnotize them to sleep. Where soft toys and softer blankets gave them company through the night. Where they occasionally stood and cried while teaching themselves how to sleep alone. And us too. What they tried to climb out of. What they later learned to climb into. Where we said a million goodbyes before finally leaving the room, telling them how much we loved them, as if they did not know.

It is a cliche that time flies and kids grow up faster than we want them to. Today we dismantled the crib and assembled that cliche. The boys are ready for the next stage. Sleeping together as brothers, neither now requiring the confined protection of the crib to keep them company. I'll miss the click of the crib when I would raise it to bring the night to notice. The million goodbyes and kisses and hugs before bed will continue, but a bittersweet feeling lingers as one chapter closes and another starts. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

A Parent's Onus

Does being a parent ever get easier? Here's a poem, straight from the heart. This was published in the Spark magazine. If you are a parent, this might resonate with you.

A Parent's Onus

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
When you brought home
A piece of your heart
And fretted over his tender body
Holding him gently like a feather

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
Till he started to crawl around
And bawled and babbled and
Gobbled your home around him
Holding hostage your anxious breaths

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
Till he grew and grew like the waxing moon,
Often eclipsing away in sickness
And found his own two feet holding him up
While you readied yourself, lest he fall

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
Till he found himself, no more an extension of you
With ego and opinion and logic and reason
And radiant limbs that took him places
While you stroked his head through nightmares

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
Till he ran like the wind was yesterday’s dirt
But pottered into school unsure of its turf
His eyes staring at the door in eager wait
While you rushed through your work to pick him up

And you thought it couldn’t get harder
Till he needed you not to hold him
But to tell him things to guide his days
Right, wrong, fallacy, faith, character, power
While you ponder if the job ever gets easier