Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The rocking chair

Many years ago when I was first moving out on my own, I went to a garage sale and bought an old wooden rocking chair from a woman who actually seemed quite reluctant to sell it. As I handed her my money, she looked at me with brimming tears and a sad smile and said "Treat it well, I rocked my babies to sleep in that chair." At the time, my 19 year-old brain thought her sentimentality over a piece of furniture was sweet but a little over the top. Today I get it. Oh, do I ever get it.

Upstairs in my baby's nursery sits a blue and white gingham patterned rocker. It's nothing special to look at, the same as many other rockers you will find in baby stores all over town, although even a casual observer would have to admit that it looks darn comfortable. But what that observer wouldn't and couldn't know is that my heart has seeped so deeply into its fabric that it's practically a part of me.

How can a simple chair become a part of you, you wonder? Well allow me to shed a little light. Over the past 4 years I have nursed 3 babies in that chair, hour after hour, day after day, night after night. I have cradled newborns as they slept, I have rocked crying babies as they teethed and I have soothed weeping toddlers when they were frightened. In that chair I have been graced with first smiles, first giggles, and first coos. From that chair I have watched the sun rise and fall, the seasons change, and my babies grow up. Week after week, month after month, year after year.

In that chair I have felt happiness beyond belief and exhaustion beyond comprehension. In that chair I have felt both helpless and invincible. In that chair I have felt a love more powerful than any emotion I have ever experienced. In that chair I have felt alive. In that chair I finally became who I was always meant to be: a nurturer, a protector... a Mother.

2 comments:

Susan said...

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Wacky said...

Wow, nice passage. You certainly have a gift with words.