Which means the time has come to paint over the nursery.
Newly born, I rocked him to sleep. Night after night, nap after nap. Even though the books said not to, I did it. I felt mildly guilty, but I did it anyway. I nursed him in that chair, preferring its comfort and cushion over any other seat in the house. That chair, that nursery, became my escape.
I rocked our baby in my belly while I rocked our baby in my arms. I dreamed. I dreamed of a new room for Aidan, of him becoming a big brother. I wondered if we'd change the top color of the room, if it were a girl. I decided, no way. The yellow was too cheery. Nothing would look better.
Years later, I rocked and dreamed again. I was excited for Aidan and Leo, knowing they'd share a room together, to make room for another. I clung to the dream of our September baby, knowing he would be our last. I reveled in enjoying every final moment in that nursery: bringing him home; snuggling him in his crib; changing him on the 34 year old dresser, repainted and refinished; introducing him to hippo, twice torn, twice replaced.
Those books were wrong, I decide. Never have I known greater peace and contentment as rocking my children to sleep, night after night, in a room I never imagined would hold such memories.