The rocking chair (and me) 30 years ago.
Every day and every night Anna and I snuggle in our rocking chair. It's not one of those modern, comfortable gliders with soft arms and a rocking footrest. It's an old, pine rocker with rungs along the tall back, which creak with each rock back and forth. Two teeth marks tattoo the seat of the chair, it's scratched and worn, and a rather retro design of vegetables and fruits is etched across the back. But, I love it. And, Anna loves it. It has an amazing story, which Anna asks to hear daily.
The "Rocking Chair Story," as told to Anna, goes like this...
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Anna. Anna had a mommy, and her mommy had a mommy named Mo D. Long, long ago Mo D bought a rocking chair. When Mommy was born, Mo D rocked and rocked and rocked her until she was almost too big to fit in the chair anymore. One day, Mo D decided to sell it in one of her (now famous) garage sales. A nice woman named Ms. Lynn bought the chair, and when she noticed how upset Mommy was that she had to part with the chair, she told Mommy, "When I'm done with this chair, you can have it back."
Twenty-some years went by, and Mommy met Daddy. They were just months away from getting married, and Mommy was out dress shopping with all the Mo's when she got a phone call. It was Ms. Lynn. Somehow, after all these years, she found Mommy and told her the story of the day she bought the rocking chair. She told her she was now done with the rocking chair and offered to give it back to Mommy, as promised. "Would you like the rocking chair back?" she asked. And, Mommy said "Of course!" (This is where Anna always chimes in to the story).
**Note: I new Lynn growing up; we worked in the same department when I was a summer intern at Dow, and I went to school with her daughter. However, we'd never discussed the rocking chair. I had no memory of being upset when it was sold or that she promised to return it. I was shocked to learn the story of the day that I said good-bye to the chair, and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I felt so grateful for her thoughtful, generous gesture and for the return of this family heirloom. Knowing that I would be able to rock my own child in this chair one day made me very, very happy.
So, a few days later, Mo D went to pick up the chair from Ms. Lynn and brought it to Mommy and Daddy's new house. And a few short years later, Mommy was rocking Anna in that rocking chair, just like Mo D rocked Mommy so many years before.
Mommy and Anna in the rocking chair, 2008.
Photo courtesy of Emmy Gallery.