The Seven Year Chair Thursday, December 15th, 2016
We wandered around a boutique-like store full of baby furniture and the hottest nursery items. We had nearly everything we needed before our first baby arrived just a few weeks later. There was only one item left to complete our little boy’s nursery. I wanted a comfy rocking chair.
The store had everything from antique rockers to over-sized plush gliders. My husband and I tried all of them. Like some scene from a bedtime story…
“This one’s too big.”
“This one’s too small.”
“This one’s arms are too high…”
Until finally, we came to one… and fell in love. It was juuuust right. It was also right out of our budget. We were a young couple, married just a few years, with a new house and not a ton in savings, but after some serious discussion, we decided to find a way to make the investment.
I’m glad we did. Because when I look back over the last seven years, and how much time I spent in that chair, how many nights… how many hours rocking and nursing and calming our three children… let’s just say I spent more time in that chair than I realized.
Before our oldest was born, I rocked in that chair every day leading up to my baby’s due date. I hoped that he would be familiar with the sway of the chair and find it calming once he was in my arms and not in my belly.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
Just a few weeks later, I was spending hours in that chair every day. I sat in that chair listening to the slow rhythmic drips of the melting snow outside the nursery window. I hoped the warm sun would melt more than just the leftover snow. I hoped it would melt the mountain of fear in my new mommy heart.
I rocked two more babies in that chair.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… It saw me through teething nights, stomach viruses, and earaches. Fussy babies and cranky toddlers and even the occasional preschooler sat in my lap and rocked to sleep night after night. Baby after baby after baby.
…For seven years.
And if I spent just one hour a day in that chair for the last seven years… even though I know there were times that I spent all night in that chair…. Even though I know that with each of my three babies I spent more than just an hour in that chair when they were first born…
If I spent just one hour a day in that chair for the last seven years, it would total…
At the very least, I have spent three and a half months of my life rocking my babies in that chair. I guess as it turns out, it was worth every penny.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… for seven years, until tonight.
Today, that chair is no longer in my youngest son’s room. He’s two, and today he graduated to a big boy bed. There just isn’t enough space for his new bed and the chair, and as I pulled that plush, teal, corduroy glider out of the room this afternoon, I realized that I had rocked my last baby.
…all gone forever.
And while I’m still processing what it means to have rocked my last baby, I know a few things for certain about those three and a half months.
- Some of my most precious memories were made in that chair.
- I didn’t enjoy those moments as much as I should have.
- God was with me for every one.
In the late nights, when I was exhausted, when I had a sick baby, when I was scared and lonely, when I felt like everyone else in the world was asleep but me, when I didn’t know if I was doing the right things, or if I was even a good mom, when I was praying for help, when I was desperate for rest… every feeding, every naptime, every bedtime, and every middle of the night moment…
God was with me.
And as I held those babies, He held me.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… He rocked with me for all of it.
So, moms-to-be, choose a good chair. You’ll spend more time in it than you might think.
Moms of new babies, find rest in the only One able to sustain you as you care for your little one. Remember, His arms hold you both. May you remember His presence every time you rock.
Moms of littles, enjoy every minute that they’ll still climb into your lap. Yes. Enjoy it. I hated it when people told me how to feel when I was so stinkin’ exhausted and just wanted someone to give me permission to just… be. But the rocking moments? The snuggly ones? Squeeze every bit of joy from them… even on the hard days. You’ll blink and they’ll be over.
And moms of all ages looking back… whether you rocked your last baby last night, or you are rocking grandbabies now, remember this… God was with you for every single moment. (And every other moment, too.) When you think back, picture Him with you. His presence will add a warmth to some of those darker nights.
They’re more than just moments spent in a chair. They are the moments we held our little ones close and they were sure of our presence. And I think our Heavenly Father would hope that we remember those nights with Him the same way.
The nights we all spent rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…all held close by Love.