I remember when I purchased it. It was a bargain price, and after months of searching, debating reading reviews online, I just decided it had to work . It was one of the most expensive things I had bought in a long time. I remember it took me nearly a half an hour to load into the back of my car; my belly already getting in the way, my back sore. I carried it upstairs to the room I had painted yellow, and started putting pieces together with the allen wrench and a set of instructions which didn’t match what I bought. After a few hours, he came upstairs to help, and we figured the thing out. It seemed solid, and I liked the idea that it converted into a full sized bed. She could sleep in it until she left for college.
After awhile, I turned it into a full bed; again with no directions, and with parts that didn’t quite seem to match. It rattled like an earthquake every time my tiny daughter climbed in or out of bed. I took it apart, added screws and wood glue, and still it shook. Soon she will figure out the wonders of jumping on the bed, and I decided I had enough.
I bought an antique bed frame from a woman hoping to move to Colorado, and loaded it into a pull behind trailer. My daughter helped me pick it out. It was beautiful and solid, and 1/6 the cost of the crib.
I called him on the drive home and asked him to take apart the bed which was in her room. He grumbled a bit, but agreed that it was a good idea as it was getting late and the trailer had to be returned that night. I told him where the screwdrivers were, and my bike tool for the allen wrench. Our conversation was all business, as it usually is these days. Did you let the dogs out? Yes, yes, Audrey’s fine. She thinks this is great fun. If you get hungry, there are leftovers and beer in the fridge. I’ll be home in less than an hour. No “I love you”, just “goodbye” and “see you.”
When I got home, he nearly had it disassembled. Some of the wood had been damaged when he took it apart. He tells me he isn’t sure it can be put back together again. She has fallen asleep on the way home, so I lay her on my pillow and pull the covers around her. She smiles in her sleep when I kiss her cheek. He finishes taking her old bed apart as I unload the trailer and set up the new one. She wakes just long enough to put on pajamas, brush her teeth, and climb into her new bed, grinning. “No more wobbly bed, Mama!” she shouts, and then she claps. “Yay!” We tuck her in, read a quick story, and turn off the lights.
We stand in the hallway for a few moments, staring at the pieces of her broken crib. “What do we do with it?”, I ask him.
“Throw it away, I guess.”
I make some excuse about wastefulness. I don’t tell him I planned to save it. I don’t tell him about the cloth diapers and tiny baby clothes in boxes in the basement. He suggests putting it in the spare room until I decide what to do with it. He thinks I will turn it into art, or a crazy garden trellis, or both. Or maybe he doesn’t want to let it go either.
His hand brushes the small of my back before he picks up the last few pieces of the crib to carry them downstairs. “Thanks.” I say. But it is met with silence.