Several streets around our house have annual yard sales in the spring that are sometimes blocks long. Tonight we went on a walk after dinner along one of these streets. We've never walked down one of these streets the night before a sale and we were surprised how many houses were already set up and had customers.
A few weeks ago at one of these sales we almost bought a toddler bed but have been unsure when to transition Ellie out of her crib. Tonight we walked by the perfect little toddler bed. And only $20! We were thrilled! Ellie climbed right up onto it and sat against the headboard, beaming from ear to ear. (And seriously, 20 bucks?!?!) There were two plush teddy bears sitting on the bed and Ellie scooped one right up and tucked it under her arm.
I almost didn't recognize her. There she was, my little baby, sitting on a big girl bed. It's freeze-framed in my mind, the look of joy on her face as she sat there so proud and excited, seeming so old and grown-up.
We were a few blocks from home and didn't have any cash with us. The woman agreed to let us go home and get money and our car and return. She moved the bed to the back of her yard, out of the way. I told her we lived around the corner and would be back in just a "few minutes."
We hurried home, which was further than "just around the corner." Michael left in the car and had to stop by the store to get cash. I put Ellie down to sleep in her crib, thinking about how surreal it felt to have my baby growing up. I was already rearranging her room in my mind to make room for the toddler bed.
Michael returned and walked in the door, empty-handed. "She sold it."
"She wasn't sure if we were coming back so she sold it to someone else."
I don't understand. How clear could we have been that we wanted it? Granted, we weren't just a "few minutes" but it had been 30, maybe 45 minutes at the most. Was she really so desperate to sell a $20 bed in a sale that hadn't even officially started that she couldn't wait for us to come back? She even gave her a free teddy bear. Seriously?!?
"Is there any decency left in humanity?" This was Michael's response. We were both a bit surprised by the emotional let-down we had. I felt like I could cry and got a tiny lump in my throat. It's incredible how disappointed I could be about something that was non-existent an hour earlier. And why?
There was something about seeing my baby girl sit on that bed that made me suddenly sentimental. As she climbed up onto that bed we literally and unexpectedly watched our baby transition into a little girl before our eyes.
I guess she won't be moving to a toddler bed quite yet. I have a bit more time with my precious little one before she sheds the last traces of babyhood. I'm in no rush. In about five weeks she will no longer be my baby and she will be forced to take on the role of "big sister." And the transitions will continue.