Some new parents-to-be spend tons of time reading books, going to baby prep and birthing classes and really work to be "ready" for baby. Ryan and I spent lots of time perfecting the nursery. Ha! We really wanted to bring Radley home to a special place and needed every-little-thing to be in a special place... right down to the antique golf clubs we hung on his wall. Looking back, I wish I would have just purchased neutral bedding to use for all three kids because, newsflash, babies don't care what their room looks like.
We had every little detail planned out except a rocking chair. While I dreamed of ordering one of these, our budget had different plans so we ordered this instead. (And way back in 2007, that chair was only $99.00.) Money has never been spent so well.
The moments spent in that chair are some of the most precious of my life. Time spent rocking a baby is never time wasted but there was so much more in those moments than feet propped up rocking back and forth.
There was grace in His goodness.
There was prayer.
There was fear.
There was pain (nursing, y'all).
There was joy.
There was sorrow.
There was gratefulness.
There was regret.
There was confidence.
There was ease.
There was frustration.
There was solitude.
There was silence.
There was noise.
There was laughter.
There was tears.
And there was love.
A love so fierce that it frightened me.
I held my babies. I fed my babies. I sang to them. And read to them. And prayed over them.
And I watched.
I watched their Daddy rock them.
I watched their Daddy read to them.
I watched their Daddy give them their first bottle.
I watched their Daddy pray.
And be scared.
And be happy.
And be filled with amazement.
I watched him come home exhausted from work to sit and rock.
Who would have thought that a $99 purchase would be worth so much to me over the course of ten years? The value of that investment was found is so much more than the money we spent.
There were moments well past the baby years that this space still brought comfort. High fevers, big storms, hard days at school - we faced them together with the calming lull of rocking. This chair is worn and stained and squeaks when you sit down. The foot stool is long gone and the pockets have more lint, crumbs and dust than could ever be picked up with a vacuum cleaner. The wood is dented and it's missing a button in the back... and I was still so sad when we finally moved it out of the house. (I say out of the house, because it currently sits in the garage and still gets used during afternoons of "Mom, watch me"... but mostly serves as a throne for the cats.)
Those books that we barely glanced through don't talk about the things you'll miss. They tell you all about colic and the "5 eses" and how to have the happiest baby on the block. They talk to you about schedules and on demand feeding. They encourage you to let them cry it out and also claim that attachment is the way to go. But they never mention the seemingly insignificant parts of parenthood that become your fondest memories.
I never would have guessed that a $99 rocking chair would be one of mine.