Young girl and her new full-size poster bed.

It All Starts With A New Bed

I pulled into the driveway of my Mum's house and saw my two-year-old daughter's smiling face staring out the window at me. Vanessa had stayed with her grandma for a week, while her mommy (Georgia) was in the hospital for complications in her second pregnancy. Vanessa, who missed her room and toys, anxiously awaited the arrival of daddy to pick her up and take her to see her mother. After the visit we'd go home where I had a surprise for her.

I held Vanessa's hand. She waddled along beside me in her snowsuit and winter boats. It was December in Nova Scotia; we bundled our children in many layers. Vanessa saw her mother walking in the hall in her hospital gown and ran as best she could to mother. Seconds later, she had her tiny arms wrapped around her Georgia's legs. "Mommy, when are you coming home?"

"Georgia reached down and held her daughter. "Soon, Vanessa, very soon."

Vanessa looked up at Georgia. "I miss you, Mommy!"

"I miss you too, Vanessa. I'll be home soon with a new baby brother or sister for you to play with."

Vanessa and I spent and hour with Georgia and then headed home.

I got Vanessa out of her snow suit, settled on the sofa and sat beside her. "Vanessa, you know you're going to have a new brother or sister soon."

"I know, Daddy. Mommy's bringing it home with her."

"That's right." I smiled. "Well, sweetie, the baby is going to need a crib to sleep in. I hope you don't mind, but I put your crib in the new baby's room."

"Where will I sleep, Daddy?"

"Follow me." I led her down the hall to her room. "I have a surprise for you."

"What is it, Daddy?"

"Look in your room."

Vanessa turned the corner and squealed with pleasure. "It's a bed!" She ran and jumped up on her first bed. "It's a bed, Daddy! My very own bed!" She bounced up and down on the mattress with a grin on her face that spoke pure happiness.

Flash forward twenty-five years. I came home from work and was greeted at the door by my granddaughter. "Poppa Mike! Poppa Mike!" She grabbed my hand. "Poppa Mike, come with me." She grabbed my hand and started to pull.

"What is it, Elizabeth? I just got home from work."

"You have to see a surprise."

"A surprise?"

"Yup!" Her faced beamed with pleasure.

"What is it?"

"You'll see." She pulled my hand again. "Come on, Poppa Mike. I'll show you."

She led me down the hall to the room she shared with her brother and stopped. "Are you ready?"

"I'm ready." I smiled down at her. Her excitement was contagious.

She pulled me into the room and pointed to the right. "Look!"

"It's a bed! You have a bed!"

Elizabeth ran and leaped into the lower half of her bunk bed and rolled on the blankets. "My very first bed." She giggled.

"I guess this means you're growing up."

"I am, Poppa. I'm almost as tall as Benny." She referred to her youngest brother who she shares a room with.

First beds are first milestones. For the first time we are free to get out of bed without waiting for someone to left us from our barred cribs. With it comes our first responsibilities. We are trusted to handle the freedom with respect and are expected to follow new rules.

First days of school, first loves, first jobs, first homes or apartments, first child; they're milestones in life. Each comes with joys and responsibilities and it all starts with the first bed.

~ Michael T. Smith ~

Michael lives in Ohio with his wife Ginny and his stepdaughter's family. You can see a list of Mike's stories here: And you can get his stories emailed to you by signing up here:  Let Michael know what you think of his story:  Michael T. Smith
[ by: Michael T. Smith Copyright © 2010, ( ) -- {used with permission} ]

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