Yesterday I took apart Audrey's crib and put together her new "big girl bed."  I'd bought it at IKEA and the boxes had been sitting in the hallway for a few weeks.  I was waiting until the new bedding I'd so carefully selected came in the mail.  I was waiting until my sciatica wasn't as disabling.  I was fearful of my toddler, who refuses to go to bed nightly, suddenly having the choice to stay in her bed or not.

But mostly, I was dreading taking apart the crib that you put together for her.

I had offers from a few other men to do it for me.  But I knew, for this very reason, I had to do it myself.

Then, without much thought, I decided at around 3 pm yesterday, I would do it.  "Audrey, mommy's going to put together your big girl bed," I say getting out my toolbox.  "Say goodbye to your crib."

But really, it is me who must say goodbye to the crib.  To the baby I had who is now almost three years old.  To the crib because there will not be the "second baby" we were planning on.  To my season of being a new, young mother.   Before I was a widow.

It takes a matter of minutes really to disassemble the crib.  (Assembling the bed took a lot longer and included various profanities and vows of never purchasing another piece of furniture I need to put together.)

Each screw I turn and un-tighten, is one that you tightened and put in.

Tears run down my face.  I do it quickly.  The pieces of birch colored wood fall to the ground one by one.  I stack them neatly against one another in the hallway.