Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finding Your Inner Child

We unloaded the wooden rocking chair from my mom’s van - the chair she and my dad stained from naked wood before I was born; the chair that rocked newborn babies, entertained climbing toddlers, and smashed a few toes in its thirty years of service to our family. With my mom finally ready to part with it, I gave it a new home beside my bedroom window.

I ran my fingers over the nicks and dents from falling objects, flying toys, and rambunctious pets. I noticed places where the stain has been thinned by years of friction. Despite its scars, it remains mostly unchanged, a pillar of consistency through a life full of transformation. 

I sat in the very seat where my little toddler feet stood almost three decades ago and felt my earliest childhood memory begin to resurface. Facing backward toward the living room window with my little hands clasped around the dark wood, I would rock to the rhythm of the blinking light on the electrical tower in the distance, captivated by the red ball in the sky and completely convinced that my motion controlled its steady flash. 

That was before the reality of divorce, death, and taxes taught me that control is an illusion. That was before I became weighted with memories of the past and worries for the future. That was before I experienced emotions like grief and disappointment. That was before life disrupted the peaceful innocence of a toddler lost in a simple moment of joy. 

I have often longed for the return of that innocence and for years I wondered if the memory of it was the closest I would ever come to experiencing it again. Sitting in that chair, I felt the thirty year gap begin to close. I may have lost sight of that innocence, but the innocence itself was never really lost. I am still that toddler. Somewhere along the unstoppable river of time, that toddler is still rocking in that chair, still fascinated by the light in the distance, still peacefully lost in a simple moment of joy. 

I turned myself around in the seat and knelt on the faded wood. Facing backward toward the bedroom window, I held on to the back of the chair and rocked to the rhythm of the swaying trees.

This is a Bigger Picture Moment.
Join us today at Brook's place.


  1. We have a rocking chair that was mine as a child, and it's really amazing how many memories a shaped piece of wood can bring back! I love to think that we are still each age we've ever been, if that makes sense. Like you say, you are still that toddler, and she is in there :)

  2. Mm, Lisa, this piece is so rich with meaning and visuals and emotion. Wonderful writing ... that ability to allow joy to run wild and without abandon in our minds is what we're called to do in our moments, to give thanks for what is set right before our eyes.

  3. Sigh....I am so glad that you have this rocker in your home now. May you sit and rock to find solace in times of trial, a moment to reflect in seasons of joy and the power of one generation connected to the one before as well as the one after. Beautiful.

  4. Just for the record. Mama was not ready to give it up and you also will never be. But, a chair like that needs to be around a family of growing children. Sadly and yet wonderfully, mine are all grown. The chair needs a mother to rock her babies as I did mine. It is time for you to build memories in that chair and then pass it on to your daughter to build her memories. I know it was a good decision to make because I know that chair means as much to you as it does to me. I spent many sleepless nights in it, rocking a child after sitting in the bathroom full of steam to help them breath when they had high fevers and a nasty cough. But I spent the most time in it with you. As a sick infant, we spent many nights in the ER and in that chair. mother and daughter rocking, bonding, wondering and praying. Just as I have had to let my children go so they could build a new wonderful life, I let this chair go so it may live on in a new home. Happy, strong and ready for it's new life with it's new family.

  5. We have the chair my mother-in-law used to rock her babies and I honestly prefer it to the fancy-schmancy glided we got when I was pregnant with my first. I love that chair...

  6. Awe. This melted my heart with such deep emotion. And your words were magical. Then the comment by your mom... it made me cry.

    Thank you for sharing this. I am holding it dear to my heart today.