Goodnight Rocking Chair.
That’s it. The time has come and there is finally a date on the calendar…
On Thursday morning, at 7:30am, the rocking chair moves on to its next home.
Yes, I will enjoy the extra space, but more than anything – I will miss that rocking chair holding me while I held Ellie.
That piece of wood an fabric symbolizes more to me than it probably should, but then again you are talking to the girl that still sleeps with the GlowWorm she’s had since she was 3-years-old.
It is a reminder of the generosity that I really didn’t fully believe existed until I got pregnant. It was a hand-me-down from a friend and colleague. When I was about 6 months pregnant, I sent an email around asking for some insight into which rocker to get and she responded by saying, “You should take mine! We’ve outgrown it and it is in great shape!”
I went to her apartment to pick it up, with the aid of my parents and their pick-up truck. My friend had had all of the cushions cleaned so that baby and I could enjoy something fresh and clean. While I was at her place, she went into her closet and handed me some great maternity clothes as well, bestowing even more generosity on me. We chatted, and she explained that I was about to get on the wildest ride of my life, but she promised me it would also be the most amazing.
Once the rocking chair was in my tiny 385-square foot apartment, it commanded attention. It said, “Baby on the way” just as much as my growing stomach did. And both prevented me from denying what was actually happening any longer.
When I couldn’t sleep at the end of my pregnancy, I would sit in that rocking chair, gliding back and forth, cradling my stomach, while picturing my little girl in my arms. I’d close my eyes and try to imagine what it would feel like, and how hard it would actually be to parent on my own. And I would cry.
I was so scared. So incredibly scared.
The night before I delivered Ellie, I sat in that chair for hours (after soaking in the tub for hours) and I sobbed. I curled up in that chair as much as a woman who is nearly 10 months pregnant can curl up, and I apologized to Ellie over and over again. I explained to her that when she entered the world, it would be mommy and Mimi waiting there to greet her. I went through the whole story with her, and told her that I would do everything I could to build our version of the perfect family.
And that rocking chair was the one holding me, while I held Ellie.
After I delivered all 9lbs, 6 oz. of the very awesome and very breech Ellie via c-section, I recovered for about 6 weeks at my parents’ house in CT. We enjoyed the holidays. My sister and I gave our two newborns time to get to know one another while we discussed how difficult exclusive breast-feeding actually was.
But with about five weeks left on my maternity leave, I knew it was time to head back to New York City, to learn how to do things on our own.
When my parents brought us back to the City, we all cried and I promised we would be fine. We honestly had no choice – failure was not an option.
I remember sitting in the rocking chair, holding Ellie in my arms, and feeling like I did when my parents dropped me off at college for the first time.
I looked at Ellie and said, “Um, now what are we supposed to do?”
So I rocked her.
For months and months, that rocking chair held me, while I held Ellie. All hours of the day and night, that rocking chair did what nothing else was able to do.
But somewhere in there, Ellie stopped nursing and started crawling, and soon after that, she began taking her first steps. And as my daughter stretched her wings and practiced some independence, so did her mom. I stopped needing the rocking chair as much as I did in the beginning. And as my baby was turning into a toddler, I realized, I was turning into a competent single mom.
It actually makes me laugh when I admit that all of the soothing and rocking that chair offered, was more for me than it was for Ellie.
So with all of that in mind, I began to come to terms with saying, “Goodnight rocking chair,” and offered to loan it to a close friend who is expecting her first child at the end of the month. She and her husband will give it a good home – until I ask to have it back to rock Ellie’s siblings, of course.
And I with tears in my eyes, as I accept my own milestone, all I can think is, “I can’t believe THIS is what I was afraid of? THIS has been the most amazing ride of my life so far.”