Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Rocking Chair. An Open Letter to Uncle Frank.

There is a wood rocker in my parent's home. It has been there as long as I can remember (which makes sense, as it was given to my mother when she was expecting me). My mom never failed to mention that this was given to her at her baby shower..blah..blah (I stopped listening after the tenth time). She loved that chair. I never understood the magnitude of that love and the importance of that chair. Until now.

The day we brought Annabel home from the hospital was the first time as a new mother that I settled into the chair you gave. It held and cradled both my new daughter and me. She was a complete stranger to me and I a nervous new mom. That night we rocked together and began to get know one another. I have a visual of holding each baby and marveling at their size, no bigger then a loaf of bread and maybe the same weight as a gallon of milk, in that chair. Since then the chair has been a fixture in my relationship with Annabel and Willa. It has helped me rock away bad dreams, make boo-boo's better, soothe wakeful babies, it has heard countless stories and many declarations of love. It has been a measure of how big my children have gotten. Their legs, once swaddled and small, now reach towards the floor. More recently, the chair has served them. As an escape route out of their cribs. This chair is sending me a message. I have trusted this chair from the first night with Annabel and despite my yearning for more time, I am hearing it's rhythm loud and clear.

We are moving the rocker into the office. A room wallpapered with memories of the girls as babies, toddlers and now preschoolers. And though there are numerous photographs, it is that chair that will serve as the keeper of my memories.

My mother was given her wood rocker a few weeks before I was born (maybe around this time, 40 years ago.) A woman who would later become my godmother gave it to her. It is worn in the seat and creaks when you rock in it. The arms have a natural groove to them. This was the best seat in the house. My mother loved that chair. I get it now.


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