Rock me baby

June 22, 2013

Our glider rocker is a mess.  It’s covered in stains and the upholstery is hanging off in strings in places. 

It isn’t pretty, sitting there in the living room for the whole world to see.  But the bones are still good.  With a little WD40 it doesn’t even squeak.

I love that chair.

It was the only thing that soothed my older son when he had one of his hundreds of ear infections. 

Or maybe he had just one that lasted for a year and a half before he got his tubes. 

Whatever the case, that chair might have saved my life. 

I know for certain it saved my sanity.  It wasn’t the most comfortable place to spend the night, but it was more comfortable than lying in bed listening to my sick baby scream in pain. 

And then came baby number two.  He’s a completely different kid, with a completely different set of challenges. 

He is busy, busy, busy.  The only time he fusses is when he doesn’t want to sleep but needs to desperately. 

So we sit down in the glider rocker and sing a song or two.  He wiggles and crawls all over and rubs his eyes and acts like he’s got a pretty tough life. 

I just keep rocking and singing and rubbing his legs (he loves that). 

Eventually the eyes get heavy, he has a few more spurts of energy, and then he’s limp. 

I don’t usually get up right away after he’s fallen asleep.  If I have time, I take it there in the old chair. 

I remember six years ago sitting in the same chair, with a different baby asleep in my arms.  It was one of the rare times he wasn’t sick. 

He giggled in his sleep and I wondered what a nine-month-old baby dreams about that makes him laugh. 

The last of evening summer sunlight was fading through the windows.  The house was completely quiet, except for my baby’s snores and giggles. 

Life was hard then.  But at that moment, in that chair, with that happy, sleeping baby, I cried for sheer joy of living. 

I don’t remember so much of my older son’s babyhood.  But I remember that moment clear as if it happened yesterday.  

I will always be grateful to my son and the glider rocker for that memory.

Just last weekend, I had a similar experience in the chair. 

My older son and husband were both gone.  It was just me, the sleeping, happy baby, and the fading sunlight.  And I cried again, because it was just as beautiful the second time.

The old glider is where I’ve sung a thousand lullabies, laughed at a hundred sillies, and cried with frustration and exhaustion. 

It is a symbol of my motherhood, and a reminder of the very best moments in my life. 

Someday we’ll have to retire that old chair. 

Once we are done with babies it won’t really fit into our lives anymore.  I am not one to keep things around for sentimental reasons.  But it will be a hard goodbye.

This article first appeared in the Lewistown News-Argus and the Sidney (Mont.) Herald on June 22, 2013.