While pregnant with my first child, my sweet in-laws bought me a rocking chair for the nursery. I picked this one because it was tall and strong. It had the perfect height arm rests for my tallness and I could rest my head back on it without breaking my neck. It also came from my favorite Amish furniture store in my hometown. It’s solid oak. Or is it solid cherry? I can’t remember, but it is solid something.
This rocking chair is the place that I sat and nursed my babies every night. I remember watching countless sunrises or waking up from a sore neck after falling asleep holding one of them. I dealt with big feelings while sitting in that chair. I wrestled with loneliness, feeling like I was the only person in the whole planet awake, again. I sat in that chair and dug through emotions that come with pure exhaustion.I spent so much time in that chair that I learned the perfect launch sequence to somehow get myself to a standing position with a sleeping baby and carefully put her back in the crib again. I also learned with blanket and pillow combination to keep in the chair; the blanket to keep my body from touching the cold wood and the pillow to support the weight of the baby.
This rocking chair is the place I sat when my husband first said goodbye when he went back to work after our first was born. I looked at him like he had three heads because he fully trusted me to take care of this baby without him that day. Did he realize who he was talking to in that moment? I was scared to death. But he confidently kissed the baby and I both on the head and said he would see us in a little while. Turns out, he was right and we were fine.
This rocking chair is where to sat, snuggling our first after the second was born. She wanted extra mom time, so we sat there and watched her sister sleep in the crib. While nursing the baby, she would walk up to us and rub her sister’s head. We chatted, she played in the floor and baby slept. She learned how to be a big sister in this chair.
This rocking chair is where I sat to deal with hard days. The kids’ room offered a perfect sense of rightness with the world. When something hard happened, I frequently found myself back in their room, rocking in the chair, watching them play and realizing that things would be ok, somehow. Peace was plentiful in the yellow room, scattered with toys and spit-up soaked baby blankets.
This rocking chair moved 900 miles with us. It sat in storage for 4 months while we looked for a home, but it was just like an old friend when I finally freed it from it’s overly- excessive 45 blanket wrapping. It arrived without a scratch and was ready to hold us again. Even though it wasn’t sitting in the yellow room anymore, it still felt like home and felt like a sweet, familiar friend.
This rocking chair soon helped hold another baby. Again, it was a constant support during sleepy night feedings, early morning wake-up calls, sore necks and cold backsides. The poor chair held me through it all. It was, again, the place I went to have long phone calls or to sneak away from a houseful of people. When I rearranged the room and saw how disgustingly cruddy the backside had become from the baby burping over my shoulder, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to clean it. Sure enough, it held up to a good scrubbing and all was back to normal again. Currently, it’s the place I sit to sing a few rounds of “Goodnight My Dear Baby” each night before the youngest surrenders to his heavy eyelids.
This rocking chair has seen the best of me and the worst of me. It’s seen all kinds of baby puke, tears, wet diapers, smelly pajamas and felt the brunt of all kinds of toys being thrown at it. It’s held baskets of laundry and happily waited to be dusted or cleaned much longer than it should. One day, when the kids are all too grown up to have a rocking chair in their bedrooms, maybe I will have space for it in my room. And maybe one day farther than that, my chair will help hold my babies’ babies.