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Rock on, chair. Rock on!

“Oh my God, the room looks great!” I say, taking in my one year-old niece’s new room in their new house.

It is pink but not frilly. Simple, clean, tasteful. There’s a white crib, and some book shelves holding some worn and well loved books. A typical dresser with a changing table lines the wall.

As of today, there’s also a new pink flowered mini chair for her to sit on that I just bought as one of her birthday presents. But the thing that catches my attention, the thing that draws my eye is a slightly beat up rocker in the corner of the room. The cushion is a muted green and beige, somewhat out of place, yet fitting in quite nicely.

The chair and I go way back. Over 10 years ago, it sat in our city apartment.

I nursed my first baby in that chair. I slept in the chair. We slept in the chair. As time passed, we read together in the chair, favorites like A Time to Sleep and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

We moved to the suburbs and the chair moved with us. It got a new room and a new baby to hold.  We spent even more time together because this baby really needed the soothing of both mommy and chair, especially at 2am.

When my third son was born, he too enjoyed the bonding of mommy, baby and chair. He barely even noticed, his face squooshed to a boob, that often he would share his space with his brothers who loved nothing more than to climb all over mommy exactly when she sat down to nurse.

As the years passed and my babies grew, we used the chair less often, preferring to hear Go Dog Go and Are You My Mother? in their big boy beds.

The chair was moved to the den, where every once in a while, a little boy and I would sit just to cuddle and rock, cuddle and rock. But it wasn’t often. Usually it was just our cat curled up there, impersonating a throw pillow.

So when my sister-in-law mentioned she could use a rocking chair to nurse her baby girl, I only hesitated a little. She should have it. My sister-in-law and sweet-faced and deliciously rolly niece needed a safe, warm place to snuggle. A place to read and cuddle. I let it go willingly but achingly.

Looking at it now, I clearly see myself (a little younger, a little more sleep-deprived) and each one of my boys in that chair.   I could almost cry, but then I remember. My boys and I don’t need a chair for hugging. We’ve got our own arms.

 

 

 

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

53 responses »

  1. Those chairs that hold us and our babies are precious!

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  2. You brought tears to my eyes. Isn’t it crazy how one piece of furniture can hold that much importance and memory. I feel the same about ours ( which is still in the boys’ room:)
    Beautiful essay!

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  3. I had one almost exactly the same. It isn’t just furniture that I have trouble letting go of though, it’s ALL their old stuff!

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  4. You are so sweet,mama!
    I loved your post and all the nostalgic feelings you recall with that loved chair!

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  5. Tears here – thanks! I never had anything like that. I would always just lay with them in bed and rock their little bodies with mine. I miss those moments. Whenever I see them laying down all I want to do is cuddle beside them and just rock. Beautifully written as always

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    • thank you. it’s like giving away a piece of us – but the rocker won’t fit in a baby book. plus, sometimes we’ve got to move on, right? whether we like it or not. 😉

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  6. This is really nice. I’m glad that your sister-in-law has the chair now for rocking her baby. That kind of furniture is meant to be shared and to gather memories of a family.

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  7. You got me with this one!!! I love and loved my chairs (I had two, I couldn’t part with the one in my first babies room so we got another one when I had our daughter!). I would rock each baby and pray that I would never forget what my babies felt like in my arms. This is just lovely!! xo

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  8. Yay. I bet the chair is soo happy to be needed again. I love the way you wrote it as a marker for all those important moments with a young child. And we went through three copies of Brown Bear, Bear Bear with my oldest. He was obsessed with that one.

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  9. Awwww! This is so sweet. I never had a special chair to rock my babies, but I totally get how you feel about it.

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  10. Aw, how sweet! Letting go of something so symbolic can be emotional…

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  11. We have that rocker EXACTLY – maybe in a different color? But I love the slide action so much. The kids have drawn all over it and laid claim to it, and it was my comfy spot until Caroline claimed it.

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  12. What sweet memories you brought back for me. I loved rocking my boys, too. Come to think of it, I miss singing things I could never get away with now, such as ‘You are my Sunshine’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and all those other classics until I…I mean, they…finally dozed off in the chair. I know your gift will be greatly cherished! 🙂

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  13. Been totally suffering from baby fever over here and this post did not help me one little bit, thank you very much! So lovely to think back on when our children were tiny and squishy. I felt the bittersweet in your words.

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  14. Hankie alert! That was so sweet, and I’m so glad that well-loved chair has a new home.

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  15. Wow! My rocking chair looks like a replica of yours. My husband wanted to get rid of it last year. But, like the crib, I was reluctant to part ways. Guess it’s a good thing because now we can use the rocker for baby #3!

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  16. I recently did a post on my kitchen table not nearly as nostalgic…not even close…but Im sorry I didnt go there with it. I love your take on this piece of furniture. It was a real reflection of your life.

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  17. For me it was the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who. My mother read it to me; I read it to all my kids, and I bought a copy for my son so he could read it to my first grandchild.

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  18. I love love love this and it makes me miss rocking my babies. I gave my chair to a friend whose roommate was young, single and pregnant. I know she needed it more than i did but i miss it.

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  19. We have a very similar chair that evokes similar emotion in me. Mine sits in my attic, not ready to move on, but not needing to be used. Great piece, here, nice emotion in it.

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  20. You described very beautifully in this post just how memories and life can make a simple piece of furniture so important. You can be so attached to these, right!

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  21. I’m glad your chair found a new home, where it will continue to soothe others in the twilight hours. I got a bit teary-eyed when we packed up the baby swing. I was frightened that he might never nap again without it, and I was a little sad that those newborn days were over.

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  22. Oh, I could almost have written this myself! I have the same chair, three kids, same attachment to inanimate objects. I burst into tears when my husband sold our Maya wrap!

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  23. I love how something like a rocking chair can be imbued with so many memories and provide such comfort. I rocked my own daughter in the same chair my mother rocked me. It’s so much more than just a chair.

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  24. Oh my god how I love this. My chair is now in the basement, in the corner of my oldest’s room. I think I might go rock for awhile now, considering how sentimental I’ve felt of late. Beautifully written.

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  25. Ah… Absolutely love this. From the flip-side, the only memory I have of my paternal grandfather is sitting on his lap in a rocking chair. There was no better feeling!

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  26. Love this! This story totally reminds me of my boyfriend — his mother still has the rocking chair that she nursed and soothed both boys. Every time we head to their house and find ourselves in the living room chatting, he gravitates towards it, claiming it as his spot. That was a very generous gift to give!

    Reply
  27. I am (clearly, from my post) right in the middle of those rocking chair days. There is something so sweet, even in the sleeplessness. Way to pass on the chair and keep the memories. 🙂

    Reply

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