When my son was in high school, I went back to college. This composition is one I wrote for a writer's group that I belonged to. Tonight, while looking through drawers to find items to put into my Smashbook, I ran across it and decided to post it on here. I don't remember what the assignment was, but I do remember sitting in our living room looking at the Mission rocker and feeling that I had to write about it.
My husband's grandfather, who I never met, first sat in the old oak rocker that waits silently resting in the corner of my living room.
This old rocker with the broken springs and the tell-tale squeak when you rock has traveled hundreds of miles back and forth singing babies to sleep with its own lullaby and comforting old people as they took their ease, perhaps sitting near a sun filled window.
It is a sturdy chair, not soft and yielding, but sensible in design, made to soothe a fretful baby and last until his old age.
Although the cushion has been reupholstered, worn thin by the many people who have used the rocker, the wood itself glows with the patina only old, good, wood possesses. It is almost as if the wood had stored part of the radiance from the babies' smiles and is barely able to contain it.
When my son was born, my mother-in-law, Thelma, gave me the rocker. It had been given to her by her mother-in-law when she had her first child. It must be a wise old chair by now because Thelma rocked seven babies in it. It seems to know just the right creaks and squeaks to lull a baby into a peaceful sleep.
My son, Gene, and I have spent more hours together in this chair rocking, eating, playing and reading, than we have spent doing anything else. It has wide arms which are perfect for resting your elbows on while reading a story book to a child and rockers sturdy enough for an energetic boy to play see-saw on.
It has now become an all purpose chair for our family while we are in transition. One wide arm is now used to hold a cold drink for my son while he sits with one leg thrown over the other. The creaks and squeaks unwind my husband after a hard day's work and sometimes they put him to sleep too as he sits with his feet propped up reading the paper.
We have no babies, for now, to cuddle and rock to sleep or any old people to rest in our chair. But it sits ready, waiting for our old age and our next generation and it gives me the feeling that it will always be there.
A lot of changes have occurred since this was written in 1984. Of course my son is grown and I spent many, many hours rocking his daughter in this chair. My husband and I are now the "old people" who use the chair. Our newest grandchild will be born in two months and the chair is ready to be put into service again to rock another baby.