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If you asked my husband to describe me, I doubt he’d say I’m sentimental. So, I’m a little shocked that I’m having a such a hard time letting go of our old rocking chair. The poor chair barely rocks or swivels anymore and it’s completely covered in stains. It should be easy to let go of, heck, I should be happy to see it leave. Instead, I’m fairly sad. It feels so silly to be so attached to a chair; but you see, it was more than a chair.
I brought two babies home to our old chair. We spent many sleepless nights nursing and rocking together like nothing else in the world even mattered. Looking back, there’s something special about rocking a sleeping baby: stealing a kiss, resting your cheek on their little head, and catching a whiff of that intoxicating newborn smell. These are the little moments that catch you off guard and over time, you realize just how quickly this phase passes.
This old chair has seen some tears too, not just from my babies, but from me. Tears from questioning if I had the strength to endure another hard day and also tears of overwhelming love and pure joy from looking down at the little lives I carried. Our old, white chair has held me through some of my darkest moments of motherhood, it saw me on my worst and most vulnerable days, and was always a place of solace and respite.
My preschooler is a big fan of that old chair. We would sit in that chair and rock for hours. She loves being rocked and occasionally still asks for it. So we climb into that old, rickety chair and her body consumes my lap. She’ll lay her head on my shoulder and her nose against my neck, and even though she’s so much bigger now, we still fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. I guess this old chair was a place of comfort for her too.
I started to wonder if the new chair would be just as soothing both for me and my girls. Change is hard and for the last four and a half years, I’ve known exactly how to rock this old chair perfectly for each child. One preferred slow and steady rocks whereas the other will only quiet with very fast rocking. Will the new chair rock the same way? What if it doesn’t? What if it’s not as comfortable?
It’s a little silly to have built such a rapport with a chair, but then again, maybe it’s not. My mother still has the wooden rocking chair she used with me and my sisters. Maybe she has similar fond memories of rocking us in the stillness of night. Perhaps all mothers have memories that we attach to different objects as we move through the different seasons of motherhood. I suppose this old chair is like an anchor, grounding and rooting me into my role as mom and serving as a reminder to how far I’ve come.
Recognizing that another entire season of motherhood is almost behind you is daunting. In a way, it’s petrifying. Once again I’ll be tossed into unfamiliar and unexpected territory and I’ll miss the comforts of that old chair. I won’t be able to fix every trouble with snuggles anymore. I’m not ready for this season to be over just yet. It’s funny, motherhood. You want so badly for your children to grow up, yet stay little all at the same time. Tomorrow I’ll do my best to embrace the chaos and enjoy my girls while they’re still little.
I guess, in a way, it was never really about just the chair.