“How long have you had this carpet?” the salesperson asked as she looked around K’s room. “About 12 years,” I replied.
While she explained all the advancements made in stain mastery over the past 12 years, my mind wandered back to when we bought the original carpet. We had just found out that K’s birthmother, A, had selected us to be the parents of her soon to be born baby. We were thrilled but determined to be realistic. The baby wasn’t due for several more months, and a lot could happen. We were excited but, in the words of my husband, “were going to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground.” We weren’t going to decorate a nursery until after the baby returned home with us, but a new carpet didn’t count. Any room could have a new carpet. The old carpet was blue and stained and needed to be replaced. We bought a nice neutral tan colored carpet and kept our feet planted firmly on it.
We communicated regularly with A and found out she was expecting a girl. A also told us we could name the baby. We drove to my parents for a visit and spent the 2 ½ hour ride discussing baby names. By the time we arrived, we decided her first name would be my grandmother’s and her middle name would be my husband’s grandmother’s. We shared this idea with my parents and they loved it. They asked about the nursery. We told them about the new carpet but explained our feet philosophy.
“Let’s just look,” my Mom said. So we looked. And we saw this crib. It was a beautiful crib, perfect for a baby girl named K. My husband and I looked at each other and at our feet. They were still right there, planted firmly on the ground. “It’s a beautiful crib,” I said. He agreed. We looked at each other again. Sensing us wavering, Mom offered to get it as a gift for K. It was just a crib; we could take it down if we had to. She bought us the crib and we brought it back home.
Once the crib was up, the room needed a dresser and a changing table. My aunt offered to buy us a rocker. Since we already had the crib and the dresser and the changing table, there didn’t seem to be any harm in getting a rocker. Then there was the discussion about “Classic” vs. “Disney” Winnie the Pooh. In the first of many times as parents that we would cave into the marketing machine, Disney Pooh won out. Stuffed Pooh sat in the rocker. Pooh and his friends hung in a mobile over the crib. A Pooh lamp waited on the dresser.
And there was the “Daddy” blanket. It was a beautiful fleece blanket my husband ordered from L.L. Bean. It was gold, with red stitching around the edge with K’s name in big red letters in the middle. What about our feet? Oh they were right there, planted firmly on the ground. They remained there when we got the phone call telling us K was about to be born. We brought them with us as we flew across the country and walked into the delivery room. They were there when we held our newborn girl and when we all flew back home together.
I looked down at my feet on the old carpet and thought of all the rug had seen. K rolled over for the first time on it. She escaped from her crib and landed head first on it. Countless block structures were built on it and Polly Pocket clothes were vacuumed up from it. And it had helped two nervous people pretend they were realistic and in control. As K approaches her teen years, I imagine we have some new challenges ahead, challenges that will require keeping our feet planted firmly on the ground. We decided to get a plusher carpet – just in case.