My wife rubbed the edge of her index fingertip along the top edge and leaned over to peek inside. She looked like she was out on a car lot comparing new cars—blue trim on this one, black on that one. Instead of cars, though, we were walking aimlessly through a local store comparing baby cribs.
My wife was six months pregnant and we were ramping up for the homestretch. We still had plenty of time, but we were struggling. We had searched for weeks and couldn’t agree on the perfect crib. We had the car seat, diapers, stroller, everything we needed to bring the baby home, but no crib.
Every crib that we looked at had its selling points. One converted into a toddler bed, another claimed to be chemical and toxin-free. Of course, my wife would find a crib that she liked, but I would question if the distance between the slats and corner posts met U.S. Safety regulations. I would find one that I thought would be perfect and she would hate the quality or color of the wood. Our worst fear was that the baby would come and we wouldn’t have a crib.
We were a mess. To top it off, we were your typical young parents-to-be, we worried about everything. We worried about labor, we worried about whether we were good “parental material,” we worried about whether or not the baby would be healthy. We were scared of own shadows. When you broke it down to the heart of the issue, we were fearful that one wrong move on our part and our new baby boy or girl would be sent down a path of broken dreams, never to return.
We were worriers, but we also knew that we were running out of time. So, one weekend, we walked down the aisle of the nearby Baby Depot store one last time determined to make a decision. We weren’t going to leave until we came to an agreement. We were clueless, but this time it clicked. We found a crib that met all of our needs. Problem solved.
I haven’t thought about that crib in more than fifteen years. I laughed last weekend though when I flipped through some old photos and came across a picture of our daughter, our firstborn, as a baby quietly sleeping in the crib. We struggled to agree on the crib, but we ended up using it for her and then later on for both of our sons.
All from one little crib
And you know what, we survived. We learned that worrying came with the territory, but so did laughter, happiness, and joy.
We learned the hard way that we could worry until we were blue in the face, but we needed to stay in the here and now. The baby was coming whether we were ready or not.
We learned too that parenting would become the toughest job that we would ever undertake, but also the most rewarding.