When I was pregnant with Little Man, one of the only gifts that I requested from anyone was a Glider Rocker. Somewhere I could sit with my new baby and relax, nurse, and collapse at the end of an exhausting day and cuddle. When we put the nursery together and were in the process of fixing everything up, I left a space in the corner of the room dedicated to that r0cker.
While I was still in the hospital, waiting to come home with our new baby, my parents bought one and put it together for me. It sat waiting in that corner when the two of us arrived. It turned out to be everything I wanted it to be. A place to feed him, soothe him and relax at the end of a long and exhausting few hours of whatever issue he was suffering at the time (acid-reflux, constipation, projectile spit-up…you name it, he had it).
I always loved to rock him. That sense of closeness and bonding…the sweetness of his tiny little body wrapped up against mine. Protecting him. Shielding him from the outside world.
But, the older he’s gotten, the less and less he’ll stand for being rocked. He’s too wiggly and doesn’t sit still for much of anything anymore. There is too much other stuff going on…too much to see, too much to do. He’s busy. All the time, busy. So the Glider Rocker sits in the corner of our living room. Serving only as an extra seat for guests and a play area for our active toddler.
Monday night, after a long day with no nap, little man fell asleep early in his bedroom while watching Toy Story 2. For those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you know that this in itself is a rare occurrence. Little Man inherited the “night owl” gene from his mommy. I found him sleeping, tucked him in, and assumed he would snooze until Tuesday morning.
After tucking my husband in, I came downstairs (as per my usual these days) to get a little work done. There were blogs to read, emails to answer, comments to respond to, etc. etc. etc. Pending any interruption, I planned to be curled up and asleep next to my hubby by 11:00 easy. An early night for me.
Around 10:20 or so, I heard a door open upstairs. Assuming that Noah was making the transition from his bed to ours (something else that is occurring a bit more frequently these days), I kept working.
Then I heard him calling me…
“Mommy? Where[s] Mommy?”
Hoping he would just crawl in bed beside the husband, I didn’t move.
I heard the pitter patter of little feet a few moments later, hit the “save” button on my work and prepared to hoist myself out of my computer chair to carry him back to his room; explaining that “the sun is asleep, so it’s time for little boys to be asleep.”
I heard those little feet hit the tile floor and saw my sleepy little boy emerge into the living room, carrying puppy dog and rubbing his eyes. He walked over to my desk, squinting against the bright light of my illuminated computer screen and patted me on the leg.
“Mommy?” he asked softly (really softly. I could barely hear him) “Will you rock me?”
[Actually, it came out more “mommy, ou wock me?”]
My heart melted. And for the first time in a long time…probably too long, nothing else in the world mattered to me. Not the emails, the clients, the blogs, the comments…nothing.
Just me and him…reunited with that rocking chair for one more go.
I sat there with him for almost 30 minutes. His bare legs wrapped around my waist, covered in a tan fleece blanket. No noise other than the creaking of the chair we sat in and dull hum coming from the fan upstairs. He laid awake in my arms for a long time, unwilling to doze off, but unable to stay fully awake. I brushed the hair out of his face and stroked the end of his nose, just like I did when he was an infant. Memorizing his face…his long eyelashes, the single dimple on his left cheek, his upturned nose. Burning his tiny little scent into my mind forever.
As he drifted off, I watched the rain and the mist fall outside of our sliding glass door, acknowledging for the first time that when we leave here in two and a half years, he’ll be starting school…knocking on six years old. Not a baby anymore.
Time is slipping away from me…and moments like that I want to remember until I can’t.
That old glider rocker probably won’t see many more days with the two of us.
But, should the opportunity arise, I think we’ll both be ready.
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.