I have very fond memories of a rocking chair my wife received as a gift shortly before my first child was born 30 years ago. The chair was oak with a wide foot print and long smooth rockers. It was only recently that we parted with the chair after having moved it from home to home over the years. If you could measure rocking in distance I’d have logged thousands of miles in that chair.
As a parent there’s not a better feeling than sitting in a rocker with a sleeping infant on your chest. I spent countless hours in that rocker with my babies patting them on the back, singing softly in their ears, and holding them close to my heart. Some of the warmest times were in the wee hours of the morning sitting with them after they had woken up crying or had just finished a night-time feeding. I’ve never felt so secure, content, and safer than when sitting in that chair in the dark of night with one of my babies.
The chair is gone but I think that perhaps when there is finally a grandchild in our lives we’ll have to get another one. Since my oldest married four years ago I’ve mused about wanting a grandchild. A couple of years ago I proclaimed to my family (only half-joking) that if I didn’t have a grandchild within a year I was going to get a puppy. A year passed with no grandchild so a puppy it would be!…
I briefly flirted with the idea of getting a puppy but fate (and Kali) rescued me and it turned out to be Kali who helped me fulfill my proclamation.
It’s probably good that the rocker is gone. Even thought Kali is much too big to sit on my lap I probably would give it a go and my family would then proclaim me “off my rocker“. So instead Kali and I have “Cuddle Time”.
Cuddle Time has become a special way for Kali and I to wind down our day. My wife and I, creatures of habit that we are I (OK – I’m the creature of habit; my wife graciously acquiesces) have a post dinner routine which usually involves TV, my wife drawing, and me futzing on my laptop. By this time Kali has usually positioned herself in the middle of the Family Room and is well on her way to deep sleep before we arrive and assume our positions.
Usually about an hour into our routine I’ll declare “Cuddle Time” and move from my chair to the floor in front of my chair. Depending on the depth of sleep Kali has reached by this point it takes a little coaxing but she’ll get up and reposition herself in front of me and plop her head in my lap. I take off her collar and stroke her head. She sleeps, and I breath. If it had been a particularly difficult or hectic day Kali’s presence is soothing and comforting. If it had been a great day Kali’s presence is a reminder of how blessed our lives are. Either way it’s all good with Cuddle Time.
On second thought, when that first grandchild finally does arrive, there may not be another rocking chair. Kali will still be too big to sit on my lap but my chest will still be just the right size for an infant. I’m sure that Kali would welcome another participant to our nightly ritual. This grand baby may just be lucky enough for Kali to declare “Auntie” cuddle time and let the baby lie with his or her head in Kali’s lap while Kali’s rests in mine.
And that would be a Cuddle Time for the ages!