Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rock on

I get so few moments, it seems, to spend quiet time with C.C. Her big sister is always there demanding my time; making up songs and singing them at ear splitting volumes to my audience of one, jumping off of furniture to catch my eye, pulling on the cat's tail because even negative attention is better than no attention at all.

For three years it was just Chicky and me during the day and sometimes at night too. Quiet hours spent rocking my little blue eyed baby to sleep were some of my happiest moments in the haze of those desperate days. I spent many an evening somewhere between sleep and awake as we rocked, me reclined in the chair with her sweaty body laid out across mine. Both of us so desperate for oblivion to come.

I don't remember exactly how old she was the last time she fell asleep on me in the rocking chair in her room, but I remember it was a hard fought battle that I eventually won. At that point she was sleeping quite well in her crib all by herself, but I needed that time with my girl because I knew soon enough I wouldn't be able to hold her as closely as I did at that moment. I remember feeling the bittersweet ache, knowing she wouldn't need me in the months that followed as much as she did that day.

So we rocked.

I tried to forget the amount of work I had to do, the laundry that needed to be folded or the dishes that needed washing, and in her dark room with the lull of the sound machine in our ears and the gentle motion of the rocking chair we were still.

Until yesterday, more than four months since she was born, I have not had the chance to experience the same peace with my second daughter. We're always rushing, always doing... something. There's always noise and activity. And quiet time with my baby has been almost nonexistent except for the dark hours of night when I'm too exhausted to enjoy it. But last night we moved C.C. to her own room, out of our bed and achingly far away from my arms.

And before bedtime, we rocked.

And last night when she woke starving and needy, we rocked.

And again this morning before her first nap of the day while her sister was at school and didn't need me to watch her twirl in circles or read her a story, we rocked again.

I forgot about the floors that needed vacuuming and the boxes that needed unpacking and in her dark room with the lull of the sound machine in our ears and the gentle motion of the rocking chair we were still.

And we rocked.

Until I pulled myself away from her sweaty body and put her in her crib to enjoy her hard won sleep. I pulled myself away to address the other tasks that needed to be done. But in my head I was still with her in her room, feeling the rise and fall of her chest as sleep came.

And in my heart we rocked on.

26 comments:

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ahhhh, beautiful.

Even now, when I'm standing and talking to adults, with no children in my arms, I find myself rocking on my feet, back and forth, back and forth. Those babies will always be in my arms too.

Rusti said...

I can't wait to do the same... this post brought tears to my eyes (could be the hormones?) it was so sweet.

Heather said...

I know, I know.

d e v a n said...

ahhh

Patois said...

I was thinking exactly along the lines of Fairly Odd Mother. I bet you're going through the day, rocking still. What a great feeling. I so enjoyed it.

Vicki said...

AWWWW. That was so sweet. I'm sitting here wiping tears from my eyes. When my boys were born, we didn't have the money for a rocking chair so I would sit on the edge of the couch and rock back and forth too. I miss those days myself. Its an amazing feeling. Thank you for bringing back those memories. With #3 on the way the one thing we are getting this time is a rocking chair. Its bittersweet in coming though.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

Ahhh, I remember those days. Not quite as clearly as I would like to, but thank you for taking me back.

motherbumper said...

Rock on baby, I'm holding my imaginary lighter up in the air and saying "rock on girls".

Mother Musings said...

Thank you for taking me back a few years ~or 8~ when my Honey bunny was little and I would cradle her in my arms. She would sleep for hours while I read books!
Sadly I didn't have quite the same experience with her little sister, Pumpkin. As you know having an older one around clamouring for attention, the second child doesn't get nearly the same amount of attention.

It's good what you're doing with C.C. :)

Ciao

kittenpie said...

Oh, how that was lovely, Chicky. I remember those times, too, and ook forward to The Bun moving into his own room where the rocker is. I do love the rocking.

Just Call Me Sleep Deprived said...

Very sweet, this made me cry. My daughter still loves to be rocked and cuddled when she's sleepy but I know it won't last much longer.
I'm glad you were able to have this beautiful moment with your baby there's nothing like it!

Haley said...

My VERY favorite thing since becoming a parent has been rocking my little man to sleep. Even though now he is 13 months and weighs almost 30 lbs, the joy I find in curling up in the rocking chair with him is unsurpassed.

This post is beautiful!

Pgoodness said...

That was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes.

I remember those days SO well and miss them.

Redneck Mommy said...

Oh sweetie. Such a beautiful post.

This right here, explains the sweetness of motherhood and why I would give my limbs to be able for a chance to rock on once more.

Thank you for the reminder.

Meg said...

ooooh how I miss sweaty sleeping baby bodies.

Read your tweet about business cards for blogher boston- if it makes you feel better I have to order mine tomorrow...

Megin
GNMParents
Maine-ly Megin

ewe are here said...

Very sweet...

And I was just thinking today, when my little one wanted to be picked up and cuddled on my shoulder and whispered to for a while on three separate occasions --three!-- when I'm lucky if I get one in a week these days... he's always in motion, it seems!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Love this one, T! I rocked all 3 of my boyz to sleep every single night until they were 1. Not for them, but for me.

Samtastic said...

that made me tear up a little.:) very sweet.
i will try to remember this when its 4 in the morning and my son is awake crying like a maniac.

mamatulip said...

Mrs. C, this may just be the most beautiful post that I've read of yours.

Love.

mo-wo said...

Freakishly nourishing, init.

And, so how is the move going. Remember I am still looking for that Mrs. Chicky move-in surprise?? That 'vintage' thong? What about the thigh-high boot that WILL BE BACK IN next season? Maybe a poignant piece of writing revived??

Did I miss the Q & A special?? You know I do miss a LOT!

momto3cubs said...

I still sometimes rock my "baby" to sleep. He's 6 years old.

I rocked all mine to sleep each night as babes/toddlers. Was exhausting at the time, but so very worth it. Those are among my favorite memories.

almondtreeframes said...

I love the smell when I was rocking my little ones, lucky I still have one under 1, so I still get to rock them... Such a great feeling...

lildb said...

god, man, my resistance to a second child weakens at the irresistible allure of your wonderfully-wrought painting.

*shakes fist*

Michelle said...

Yes, yes, yes!

Anonymous said...

holy shit woman I thought I was in the all set line with two kids 3 and 6, but your post brings me right back to that wonderful, warm, sweet rocking place thanks so much

Sally HP said...

Geez, you really know how to make a girl cry. I just laid C down for his nap then came to tackly my google reader. I feel the same way. With H, we had all the time in the world, and it still feels like all H all the time. I need to slow down a little with C.