“Can you move that chair down from Cole’s room into the guest room?” I asked Craig earlier in the day. It was the gliding rocking chair in which I had rocked both babies from their first night home until a few months ago when Cole decided he was too big to be rocked before bed. I sat many, many hours in the chair, my feet propped on the ottoman in front of me – sometimes singing songs, sometimes telling stories, sometimes nodding off, and sometimes mindlessly looking at my phone waiting for their tiny eyes to close.
I wasn’t all that sentimental about giving up the rocking chair in his room. There’s a far more comfortable glider in my office if, by chance, I need to comfort someone in the middle of the night. And, truth be told, I want the space in his room so I can rehome the toy tool bench that has taken up residence in my grown up living room. We never used the chair in Cole’s room anymore and I wasn’t really sad to see it go.
And then tonight as I was running the bathwater, I looked at my youngest, his hair still damp from his swim before dinner. His eyes were closed and his chin was beginning to fall. Standing up next to the tub, he was seconds from falling asleep. I shut off the water and announced to Chessa that she just got a pass for bath night and quickly put Cole in his jammies. As I went to lay him in his bed, his arms reached out for me and so I held on and sank back into the rocking chair.
I held onto him far longer than it took for his eyes to close and his breath to become deep. I ran my hand down his back and across his toes, smiling into his shoulder knowing that this would likely be the last time I rocked him in that chair. Smiling knowing that my baby is all boy now. His legs curl to fit onto my lap now and his arm wraps around my neck. He runs full speed all day long, jumping from pretending to be Santa Claus (yes, still. I can’t even…) to Peter Pan to a Super Hero. He is one moment sweet and loving and the next mischievous and ornery as hell. The rocker will still move. Those days of rocking him to sleep may be long gone, but the little boy that laid his head in my arms then is as sweet as the toddler that tap dances on patience now.