Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Day My Son Moved Out

"Well I'm takin' my time, I'm just movin' along
You'll forget about me after I've been gone."
- Boston; Foreplay/Longtime

My son moved out this week.

My 4 year old son.....left the nest. He's out on his own. All alone on the vast sea of "independence".

O.K.....i'm over-exaggerating. The reality is though, that Gavin no longer sleeps with the rest of us in the "family bedroom", but has moved into his own room.

I hate it. I hate everything about it. But I need to accept it. Here's the story:

We co-sleep and bed share. Gavin slept in our king bed with us until a few months before Ivy was born then he moved to a twin bed right next to ours. That's how it has been since the Spring of '09. We all sleep in the same room. Some folks think that we are mental, despite the fact that there are millions of families in other countries who bed share...mainly because they don't have the room to separate everyone...and also because it's awesome. It's so much fun to wake up all together in the same room and jump and hug and wrestle and snuggle first thing in the morning. It's so reassuring as parents to be able to look over and see your boy sleeping so soundly, just a few feet away. That's how The Leo Family rolled.

Until last Saturday.

Chrissy's family was up to visit from New Jersey. We set them up with a futon mattress in Gavin's "room" (even though both kids sleep with us, they both have their own rooms which are decorated for them and house their clothes, closets, toys, books, etc.)
Well...Chrissy's family left, but the futon mattress stayed in there for a few days. This past Saturday night, Gavin asked his mama if he could sleep in there. She said "yes", figuring that if he got scared or whatever, he could jump into his old bed in our room. Chrissy gave the O.K.

The kid slept like a log. All night.

Next day, same thing. And the day after that. And the day after that....and so on and so on....which brings us to tonight.

Tonight we took the futon mattress back downstairs...took his twin bed from our room, and put it into his room. It's official. Our boy sleeps in his own room. I know that it's one of the many things that I'll have to "let go of" as a parent. I know this...but I still hate it.

here's what our room looked like after moving his mattress (and yes, I'm posting this picture for subtle, self-serving, saddened effect):

It's like looking at a ghost. Alright, I'm exaggerating...but just let me be, will ya?

I guess it's like anything else...I love the independence and confidence that he is developing. I love seeing the brave, confidant leader emerge in him. I truly believe that God has something great in store for him....He's been blessed with so much already. But Lord...not TOO fast, please.

He's still my little boy. He still cries when his balloon pops. He still thinks that lollipops grow in his ears. He still thinks that a nickel is worth more than a dime because it's bigger. He still needs a goodnight story and prayer before he can settle into bed, He still believes that a hug makes a boo-boo feel better (which may actually be right)...he's still so small....

It's the dichotomy of life, I spend so much time preparing them for the next level...and then, when that day comes, you want to do everything in your power to prevent that page from turning. It can't be stopped. It can only be bathed in prayer and set forth with training.
"He'll do fine", The Lord keeps telling me....and I believe it. He's getting so big.

But wait for the next thundery night. He'll be booking across the hall into out bedroom to be comforted from the storm. There's a part of me that wants him to be able to ride something like that out on his own.....but there's a bigger part of me that would spend a weeks pay if I could guarantee the sky would open up tonight and he'd run to me.

"Time doesn't wait for me, it keeps on rolling".

So big.

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