Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Nursery

Today marked a milestone for me. I gave away Kate’s baby furniture and started the process of changing the “Nursery” into just another bedroom.

I surprised myself (and everyone else!) when the tears started to fall as the men took the 25 year old nursery bedroom set down the stairs. I could almost feel Baby Kate (4/28/84) the day I so proudly brought her home from the hospital and placed her in the crib I had prepared for her. Then I thought of the day we moved a twin bed onto her room. She refused to leave her cozy, familiar crib even though she was old enough to read books alone at bed time. It took her forever to make the transition.

After Kate left the nursery and moved next door into her big girl room, the wicker-filled room still served as her play area, but the crib sat childless and waited for the first grand baby to arrive. I remember the first time Ford (7/2/95) came to the new nursery at Farmington. Grandad and I acted adoringly like new parents as we tried to endear ourselves to him. I was never sure if I was allowed to act as a “real” grandmother or not, but my instincts couldn’t wait to love and talk with him as he lay in the nursery bed.

One by one the other grandchildren came. It was Kim that first asked me to witness a grandchild’s birth. Secretly, I couldn’t believe my good fortune that I would be invited into such an intimate, precious moment; my daughter’s first baby being born! I witnessed Andrew’s birth (11-8-96) with the pain of a mother and the incredible excitement of a grandmother! Every difficult experience I had endured to that point in life seemed worth it, just to be there for that moment.

When Mary, asked me to be in the delivery room for Joey’s birth (4/7/98), I thought life could be no better. I had always wanted her to trust me like that, and I dreamed it would bond us together forever. I might have failed her in my excitement, taking pictures of such a special event in her life, but I was so overwhelmed at the privilege that perfection just couldn’t be achieved with my photographs. I had another child to fill the nursery bed.

Then 1999 we were blessed fully and overflowing! First, I received birth pictures of Keegan (2/3). I felt so privileged to share Kristin’s journey through a photographic journal, even though she and Keegan were so far away and my arms ached to hold him. They were filled, three day later when I witnessed Emily (2/5) being born, my first granddaughter, the spitting image of her mother. Sweet little Morgan (4/13) came next, being special because she was born on her Grandfather’s birthday. At that time her parents lived close to Emily’s, so they shared this delight of daughters and a baby sitter as well; when the moms had to return to work. The girls loved each other at an early age.

It wasn’t long before Isabelle (9-5-00), who looked just like her dark haired father, arrived. Mary and Mike again shared the experience with me and I realized fully that love is the only thing that you have more of, the more you give away. I was in love again! Aidan (8/25/01) followed almost a year later, again, too far away to touch but the perfect brother for Keegan to fill the nursery with when they came home. He also was born on the very day of my beloved son, Michael.

The family had exploded and nursery was alive with children, playing, sleeping, and reading books from the book shelves. The babies were little people when, last, but certainly not least, came our dear William (1/18/04); William, who keeps us from growing old too fast, who reminds us, it ain’t over ‘till it’s over. The thrill of watching his birth and having a ninth grandchild was no less than the first.

Each child has laid his or her head in Kate’s crib. Twenty-five years have passed and I don’t want to let go…until I think about today, how proud I am of all the things my children and grandchildren have accomplished and who they are as people.

Today, as the men were packing the perfectly preserved 25 year old furniture into their van, I told them, through my tears, to keep the mattress in plastic, every child deserved a clean mattress and, “Don’t scratch it, for goodness sake!"… The mother that is receiving this furniture is a 16 years old girl, a year younger than I was when I was pregnant with Michael. I told them to tell that mother to take good care of her baby and to know that I would be praying that her child would be loved as much as all the babies that had lain in this crib before her. I have named her Hope, for my prayer purposes, and I pray she will be healthy, happy and do great things in this life. After all, that bed must be blessed by God himself! I was promised a picture of her in the wicker crib.

Now, to the time at hand-- Kim is helping me turn the nursery into, what I have decided to call the “Green Room”. You sometimes wait in a Green Room before going on stage; therefore it will wait for Kate to come home again to visit, and I will add another crib if it is ever needed. It will also honor the new, “Green” way of thinking for the young people (grown-up grandchildren) who I hope will come and visit whenever they like. Oh, and it’s also painted green.

I feel better now. I’m so grateful that those babies have grown up to be so fine and I will continue to try and find ways to make them proud of me. I am reminded of lyrics from a favorite song; ..."Some say love is holding on and some say letting go. Some say love is everything and some say they don't know"....
Well, I know and in my heart I will hold on to every one of you, forever...

Mama/Mimi/Merry Croft


Queenie said...

What a delightful 25 year story !
Lots had happened in that little
bedroom. Your grandchildren, my
great-grandchildren - -
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb
is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.
Ps. 127]
A great story today and I am so glad to be part of it.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blog with the heart of all Mother's showing through each word. Each one of these babies are truly blessed to have been in Mother/ Mimi's nursery. Thank you for letting me relive these moments with you. love, Judy

Leigh said...

What a beautiful story. Such perfect memories. I honestly think its time for you to write a book!