He came home, brought the new mattress and box spring inside, and the kids were so excited.
"Let me just grab something to eat real quick, then I'll set it all up," he said.
"I need one more night," I told him, fighting back tears.
He took one look at me, and being together for over a decade and knowing the complete sentimental mess I am, he completely understood.
"No problem, I get it," and he hugged me.
Had I known that morning when I got up with him would be the last time I'd ever pull a child of mine out from his crib, I would have savored it more.
Had I known the night before would be the last time I'd ever reach over the rails to lay him down to sleep, I would have taken it all in and probably never let him down.
Had I known I wasn't ever going to see that adorable 3 year old tiny hand through the rails making the "I Love You" sign, like we do each and every night when I walk out of the room, I would have taken a picture of it to last forever.
See, he's our last baby.
We've had a crib in our house for almost 7 years.
I had to close that chapter and needed just one more chance to do it.
There are so many lasts that we don't actually know are lasts when they happen, like the last time they say "Mommy" before it switches over to "Mom."
The last time they sit on your lap or carry them in your arms before they've become too big.
The last time they crawl before they're full blown walking machines.
But this. This I knew, and I was going to take full advantage.
So that night we sat in his chair and I sang him his favorite bedtime song (yes, it's STILL Hark the Herald Angel Sing - been this way for the past two years, even on sweltering summer nights I belt it out for him).
I held him extra tight, and I reached my arms over the crib and let him go.
I let him go.
I grabbed my phone to take a picture.
And we made our I Love You hand signs.
And then I was ok.
The next morning, I heard him calling my name from his crib and knowing it was the last time I'd ever have to get up out of bed to pick up a child of mine, I hopped up, went in, and took in all his bedheaded adorableness as he lit up, so happy to greet me and the morning.
My husband put together his bed that day, and I didn't shed a single tear. I made my peace, I closed that chapter. I reminded myself how amazing this is, and how crazy blessed I am that I get to experience the greatest gift a parent could possibly be given...