Generally speaking, mattresses aren’t known for eliciting strong emotions, or emotions, period. But, we recently bought our soon-to-be 13-year old daughter a new Queen size mattress and it made me a bit sad. It always surprises me when a seemingly mundane moment affects me. I mean we’re talking about a mattress. That’s like getting misty over a new toilet brush. But, there I was, staring at a very ordinary Queen size mattress but thinking back to a different mattress. One surrounded by a cushioned bumper and, poised high above it, a mobile of crescent moons and silky stars. And resting upon that mattress was 8 pounds and 5 ounces of pink perfection.
I remembered another mattress. This one resided in a white washed wood frame approximately eight inches off the ground. The child that slept on this mattress—when she slept—was a bundle of energy and light. She walked and ran and giggled and felt like such a big girl now that she had a “big girl bed.”
There was a Fairy Princess blow-up bed phase, which, I suppose, doesn’t really qualify as a mattress, but for the sake of this post we’ll consider it one. It had high walls that cushioned the little girl when she slept restlessly which was—and still is—often.
Up until a week ago the little girl slept on a Twin size mattress she inherited from her brother. One day, we noticed the little girl’s feet started hanging off the end of that mattress. Feet that no longer bore the stubby toes of childhood, but rather, the long toes of adolescence. Which brings us back to the Queen size mattress.
My daughter picked out new bedding for herself. A rather ornate pattern that’s about as far as you can get from fairy princesses and a lost clown fish. It looks great on her new bed. She looks great in her new bed. And yet, when I tuck her in and kiss her good night, I still see that perfect newborn, that roaming toddler, my little princess. And, whether I’m ready for it or not, I see my daughter growing up. Fortunately, I still see the moon and the stars. I always will.