It Worked for Awhile . . .


It Worked for Awhile


My son up there, Sam, has memories in everything.  They absorb the items and the breadth of everything around him like the pores of a sponge.

So it is that I contend, again, with a broken bed.


This was the bed, a couple months ago.  Sure . . . it elicited many a “now you know why I told you not to jump on the bed(s)!”  Still . . . the bed was broken.  I had every intention on that next day to make a trip to the dreaded monument to Swedish engineering (he said in distinct sarcasm) Ikea.  Instead, I spent hours recessing screws, cutting boards and trying my hardest o fix the twin bed of my son’s.

My son saw this bed as a transport, his own time machine where he could lie in bed and think about his days as a toddler or elementary school child.  He used it to remember the days he loved going to the park and when he was across the hall from his Dad.

He used it to remember his Mom.

So it was I took an entire day to build the braces, using deck screws and other pieces, to rebuild his bed.

Then last night his older sister sat on the bed.  It’s here I saw the serious design flaw.  It just wasn’t made to handle more than a toddler’s weight, an engineering spec I hadn’t read nor realized since the beds had always been pre-assembled.

So it was that this very son, in the heights of his being bummed out by the loss of his personal time machine, he went with me to Ikea.

He helped pick the bed.  He sat in the restaurant with me because we were ten minutes early.

This wouldn’t normally be a big deal except I spent the entire evening tossing and turning.  I have cookies I want to make.  I have a cake to finish and frost.  I have cinnamon rolls to make for morning.  I have to wait for the arrival of the fat guy in the red suit and do my yearly ritual . . . watching The Apartment while I await the visitor from the North.

But it’s Christmas.  It’s a day of new beginnings.  It’s a day of love, delight, giving and not anger.  I looked at my son up there and looked at him and realized how patient and happy he was for having such a tight connection to this object.

“We are getting beds for Christmas!” He was smiling as we went through the labyrinthian store.  We had to use every ounce of self-restraint to not buy that set of coffee cups, no matter how cute, or the panda bears or the new cutting board.

Like Laurel and Hardy we got to the aisle with the boxes.  My 11-year-old, build like a wrestler and strong as a gnat couldn’t manage to hold the little cart.  As one box got closer, filled with iron and styrofoam and weighing about as much as an Acme anvil the corner would hit the cart and my son would exclaim “ouch!”  The cart would roll backward, the box fall and the eyes from the early shoppers would peek around the corner like a Pixar cartoon.

Somehow we managed to get the first box on the cart.  Then came number two, which I somehow managed to see was box number 1 . . . weighing about double the first.  By now Sam had wedged his foot behind the wheel of one side and held onto the other side.  By the third box we had a light piece we could put onto the cart and walk away.

On the drive home NPR’s Here and Now was playing the host’s interview with a DJ from his hometown.  They were playing songs from his childhood for Christmas . . . and Sam was bobbing his head to Chuck Berry singing Run, Run, Rudolph!  

The beds still need building, the rolls rising, the cookies cutting, the dinner creating . . . but I don’t mind.  Busy is better than bored and we’ll get it done.

And we’ll have new beds for Christmas.

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