Rockabye Baby

I love getting rid of stuff. Excess items, clothing that no longer works, dishes that are chipped, you name it. I wasn’t always like that. I grew up a semi-hoarder, loving each piece of paper and sock that came into my room. I would save movie stubs in high school, tape them to index cards, and write the names of who I went with. I would curate large photo albums, writing details on the back of each print.

In an effort to get downsize, four families, ours included, will hold a rummage sale. I’ve been happily piling items into boxes and pricing things with bright green stickers, my initials under the small amounts.

I have a few large items, one of which is the rocking chair we rocked Miss Red in for the first two years of her life. She decided around two that she didn’t want to be rocked at night anymore, and we switched to a bedtime routine of reading books and talking. Some might think that we should save the rocking chair, and we did. It sat in the basement for nearly two years, untouched.

I remember just a few snippets of the rocking days. She would take a bottle and we would sing songs. I only know two songs, both learned from CH, who learned them from his mother – “Oh, Mother,” and “Skidamarink.” I remember Miss Red’s tiny little mouth making the sounds of each song, chiming in when she remembered lyrics. I remember burping her and just staring at her, this little creature that grew in my body.

I love the story of how we got the rocking chair. It must have been 2002 or 2003 when we saw a sign for an estate sale near CH’s mother’s house. We knocked on the door and a handsome woman answered. We entered, and she took us into her living room, where items were placed with some sale stickers, others not. She offered us refreshments. A dapper man came down the stairs, and I’ll never forget his voice. He said, “Hello, I am Benito.” We ended up chatting with this couple who were moving out of their house, downsizing, and marveled at their amazing furniture. We’re talking gorgeous pieces. But at that point I was working two jobs and CH had a small gig at the University, so we were in no condition to buy large items. Except for the rocking chair. Benito proceeded to tell us in his Italian-accented English that they purchased it at Art Fair on the Square. I sat in it. I rocked. I loved how it fit my body, how my hands rested on the arms. We bought it.

It was in our living room at one apartment and then our house, working its way into Miss Red’s nursery, where it was used nightly.

I loved that rocking chair.

But there will be no more babies to rock. And we haven’t used it in years. Miss Red never asks about it. I never think about it or miss it until maybe it catches my eye in the dark basement. So it needed to go.

I hope that the person who picks it up at the garage sale loves it as much as we did – as Benito and his family did. Sweet dreams.

– MD

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6 thoughts on “Rockabye Baby

  1. I will remember rocking red and singing “duermase mi nina” like i once did to her mother when she was a small baby bird.

  2. We also bought a rocker. But our purchase occurred about 2 months before H was born. Interestingly, we purchased it second hand from a family about 20 minutes away. This family had painstakingly restored the rocker and offered it to each of the children who had been rocked between its sweet arms. None of them wanted it. We were delighted to add it to our nursery where it still sits. I don’t know when or if we’ll be letting go of this piece, but I do know that the couple who watched us load it into our CRV was delighted that another little head would find big dreams rocking on it.

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