Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Melancholy Milestone

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Melancholy Milestone

I'm feeling melancholy today. I managed to tint my hair Havana Brown today in order to look a little less geriatric before next weekend's 5K walk/run but have not moved far from the security of the couch. After a few hours of typing bone scans in my bathrobe this morning, any motivation I had once is long gone. When I went to check on Erik, who didn't seem to be settling down for his nap late into the morning hours, I found a complete disaster zone. Erik was standing tall in his crib, proudly looking down at an initially unidentifiable pile of fluffy debris. On closer examination, I recognized it as handfuls of material torn from the innards of his crib mattress, liberated by thick, brutal toddler hands (poor muscle tone, my foot). I called Brian in to survey the damage and make a final declaration regarding the appropriate disaster measures. He agreed we had a four-alarm state of emergency. We nodded at each other and looked down at the crib, which was being held together in one place by a golf tee strategically crammed tightly in a hole where some sort of metal fastener used to be at one time. We decided it was time to say goodbye to this particular piece of furniture.

As the walls of the crib were dismantled and taken away to the attic, I lit the Yankee candle nearby that my sister-in-law gave me long ago as part of a baby shower gift. Over the last two and one-half years, I have very rarely lit this particular candle in order to make it last. The fresh scent of baby powder began to waft up from the pool of wax forming around the wick like a hot moat. I breathed it deep into my lungs and squeezed my eyes shut. There is not much of this candle left, and I hate to burn it, as Yankee no longer manufactures this wonderful scent. However, a baby powder-scented candle suddenly seems ridiculous in this lanky, ruddy-cheeked boy's room.

I will burn it tonight until it's gone.

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Blogger kathi said...

This was an awesome read. Brings back memories I'd long forgotten, and images of Erik and you. Precious, you have so much talent and such a great heart.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

My first thought upon reading this was to try and find you another candle, only to realize I wanted believe there was a tangible way to hold on to our lttle ones...knowing only too well that there isn't. How very wise you are to notice these moments while they are actually occurring rather than after they have passed.

Baby powder is one of those smells that always makes me close my eyes and remember....always.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

How sad and happy that this milestone is upon you... what a devilish little boy :)

5:54 PM  
Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

I have a bottle of Johnson's baby cologne that I keep on hand for those times when I need a baby fix. I close my eyes, inhale deeply, and just savor it.

Congratulations to Erik (and my symptathies to you) on successfully ridding himself of babyhood. It's a tough transition, isn't it?

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Aspen said...

I think it is starting to hit me as well. The "baby" days are gone. Yes he still is a baby in some sense, but he no longer has the look of a baby or the stature of a baby. He is my tall grown up BOY. It will be a while before we dismantle the crib however, still not ready for that. And yes, I will miss that baby powder scent as well.

9:02 AM  

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