I lay in bed, staring down past my toes, and the sliver of faint light emitting from the cracked bathroom door softly illuminated the bare space at the foot of my bed. It was enormous, that now-vacant floor space beyond my socked feet, and other than the collection of dust bunnies left behind, the area between my footboard and bedroom door looked sadly and definitely barren. My momma heart wanted to cry.
I could easily recall almost two years ago when I had placed the large, rocking Recliner in our bedroom in anticipation of our third daughter. The fact was that we needed it, and the second fact was that there was absolutely no other place for it to go. The third fact was that it didn’t really go there either. I liked rocking my babies, I loved nursing them to sleep, and I took my time about it. No hard, wooden rocker for me. I required the barcalounger of rockers for my tired, momma bones, and since you spent the majority of your time nourishing, napping, and nestling with your newborn in one of these puppies, I chose the comfy kind. Comfy, but not space friendly to our bedroom.
I would walk across the room to my closet, inch between the bed and Recliner, pushing it with my thigh out of the way so I could put on pants other than yoga. Then at nap time I would do the scoot forward motion to inch the chair back away from the wall so that it could rock again properly without bumping against the drywall. That chair was my happy place. That chair was an annoyance. That chair was my throne. That chair was an eyesore. I loved it being there. I hated it being there. I loved that I had it when I needed it. But I couldn’t wait for it to be gone!
Until it was.
I lay awake, my eyes having adjusted to the dim light, and I stared at the empty place where my rocking Recliner had once been. It had seen me through the blurry-eyed beginnings of new motherhood. I remember being stationed in that chair like I was rooted there. A boppy pillow in my lap, my newborn daughter perched on top of that, and my husband arriving frequently with new glasses of ice water, loving eyes, and questions of, “is there anything else I can get you?”
But no, I had everything I needed, right there in my lap, and I would rock for hours nursing my new baby and staring at her as she slept. It was the perfect chair. A fine investment indeed.
It was gone.
It had gotten me through the rough period when I was trying to learn how to be a mommy to more than one, and I would rock and sing while holding my second, baby daughter in one arm, and her jealous, pouting, toddler sister in the other. Back and forth I would rock, relishing the feel of two, lovely little ladies as they lulled to sleep against their respective sides of my chest. Back and forth, back and forth, the chair, my emotions, but both their spirits and mine would be steadied as we rocked together in sweet silence, or to the soft hum of Hush Little Baby.
It was gone.
It had been with me still through the awakening that was having a third child. I mean, I knew it would be challenging, but I guess I never really had a clue. I would barely keep my head above water as I treaded through the day, homeschooling a five year old, begging the preschooler to please stop crying over nothing, and wearing a baby as I tried to keep everyone happy, healthy, and all the rest. At the end of the day, exhausted and overwhelmed, I would retreat to the dark bedroom where the sound machine thrummed. My husband would take over the care of our older daughters, and I would feed and rock the baby to sleep. I’d stay in there for at least an hour, rocking in the dim light, making sure she was good and asleep, and making sure I was good. That chair was my therapy.
It was gone.
I lay in bed, I looked at where my rocker had once been, and I realized I had finally gotten that cumbersome thing out of my bedroom. At long last I had sold that oversized, un-feng-shui, milk-stained Recliner! No more bumped knees in the middle of the night, and no more sighs of frustration as I squeezed past it to the closet. It was gone!
It was gone!
It was gone!
Rocking babies was gone. The need to nurse newborns was gone. Nap time trips in the big brown chair had come to an end, and as I stared where the rocker had once belonged I realized more than a piece of furniture was missing. I realized instead a period of time had passed. Somewhere in between Rock a Bye Baby and Jesus Loves Me my itty, bitty baby days had rushed past. Marathon breastfeeding sessions had ceased, and 3am awakenings had dwindled away. The burp clothes had disappeared out of the laundry, and the tiny, swaddling blankets had gone back into the top of the closet. The swing had been given to another mother in need, the crib rail had been removed to convert it to a toddler bed, we had agreed she was to be the last baby, and now the old faithful chair had been sold.
It was gone.
I closed my eyes, shutting out the lonely space beyond my tired toes, and letting the image of a now empty-appearing, master bedroom go for the night. I took solace in the fact that my daughters still loved lots of time in mommy’s lap, even if we weren’t rocking, and I knew I wouldn’t let lap time pass by me as quickly as the rocking time had. So there was that.