Letting go of the rocking chair (or not)

Letting go, where our kids are concerned, is rarely easy.  We have this old, green rocking recliner that has seen better days.  In fact, it’s seen some of the best and hardest days of my life.  It was already old when my parents gave it to us for our new baby’s nursery over a decade ago, but it has served us and our daughter well.  It’s been the sweet spot where I’ve rocked her, fed her, soothed her tears, read to her, and laughed with her.  It’s where I’ve looked down into her big, blue eyes as they shined back at me.  Sometimes she would stop eating just to smile up at me.  So. Many. Memories.

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After all that love and rocking, the poor chair is really starting to show its age.  No matter what we do, it is shabby and grungy.  But I cry every time I think about getting rid of it. More so than with anything else that’s becoming a relic of my daughter’s childhood.  Maybe because I can’t tuck a recliner away in our memory chest (already full with baby clothes, drawings, and stuffed animals)!  I think the hardest part is that this chair reminds me that my daughter and I are showing our age, too.  Before long, she won’t fit in my lap anymore, and the tender moments of looking into each other’s eyes on a daily basis will fade.  I hate it.  This rickety, stained, creaky chair has held so much, and I don’t want to let go.

I don’t know what the solution to this is.  I know I can’t keep everything forever.  I can’t keep the chair.  I can’t keep my daughter little.  I can’t stop time.  So, instead I’ll work on looking for the silver lining.  There are new joys that come with age.  I’m learning to relax as a mom.  My daughter is learning, and growing, and becoming a really fun person to be around (except when I make her clean!).  She starts middle school next year and is beyond excited.  I am experiencing new wonders through her eyes every day.  Wonders that wouldn’t come any other way but through the passage of time.

Someday, I’ll find a way to let the old chair go.  I’ll try to keep short the moments of pining for times past.  For now, I’ll work on making new memories with my daughter every day.  Her world is going to get a whole lot bigger than that chair…and, as bittersweet as it is, I can’t wait!

About author


Lori Smith and Scott Smith are higher education professionals with a combined 30 years experience working with college students. We also happen to be married to one another and are raising our own potential future college student.

One comment

  1. Know the feeling of an empty nest.

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