Joey had a Rotary Club function last night, so I picked up Monkey Man and we headed out to Kohl’s in search of some jeans for him and a cheapo/cute t-shirt for me. He was so good that he didn’t even throw a fit when I told him it was time to leave the play area at Chick-Fil-A to get home for bath and bedtime.
He has terrible allergies to pollen and mold, and with the amount of sinus crap I had going on yesterday I knew that last night was going to be a doozy for him. Wednesday night we’d had to get up three times with him due to bad coughing fits. Last night he made it until 3:00 AM when he decided to try and cough up a lung. Finally, after offering him water and rubbing his back, I scooped him up and held him in my arms in the rocking chair.
I think I sat there for 45 minutes with him. It was so eerily quiet that you could just feel the universe vibrating, if that makes any sense. He nestled his head on my chest just like he did when he was a baby. I sat there and smelled the top of his head over and over again, rubbed his back, and listened to him breathe.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours in that chair. It’s kind of a cool chair because my mom bought it for me at a thrift store – it’s an upholstered rocking chair that looks normal with the rocker contraption hidden underneath. Whoever made the chair made it perfect for a woman’s body – just the right size and the seat isn’t so deep that your feet don’t touch the ground comfortably. She had it reupholstered for me in this very cool royal blue and white plaid to match the rest of the nursery, and everyone who has seen the chair remarks on how unique it is. I’ve often wondered – how many babies were rocked in that chair? It’s pretty neat to think about.
When Monkey Man was a baby, I would spend blissful hours with him in that chair nursing him. We had some rough times in the chair too, and the last time I ever nursed him we fought in that chair – Mighty Mom, with lots of love (and milk) to give, and Stubborn Monkey Man, who had decided it was oh so much easier drinking from a bottle versus a boob. I sat there weeping, realizing that it was never going to happen again no matter what I did.
Rough times aside, though, we’ve had mostly great times in that chair. We’ve read Dr. Seuss’ ABC book until the pages started falling out. We’ve read the children’s Bible together. We’ve told stories and talked out how our day was, we’ve tickled and wrestled and loved and hugged in the chair too.
When I remember back to the days when Monkey Man was so tiny I could hold him in one arm, I marvel at how much he has grown up before I even noticed. Last night, his feet dangled off of the side of the chair and even though there’s a lot less of me in the chair now, there’s a lot more of him now to fill the void.
As I held him last night and stroked his back until he finally returned into a deep slumber, I was completely overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment. The day that we can’t rock in the chair anymore together will be a bittersweet one. There will be many more milestones in Monkey Man’s life that will come and go, but the day that he outgrows being rocked in the chair will be the most significant and saddest one to me.
I know that day will come, but I’m going to enjoy these little moments while they last. And I hope that one day, Monkey Man might be rocking his little boy to sleep in the chair and have as many wonderful moments in it as I have had.
I love you, Monkey Man. Thank you for being my sweet boy.