More Than Just a Piece of Furniture
The little wooden rocking chair sits in the corner of the landing at the top of the stairs. It is waiting — waiting for some tiny child to come along and resurrect its purpose.
The chair is almost as old as me. You could probably call it an antique. I got it for my first birthday or second Christmas. I can’t remember which, but, it’s always been around. I rocked my baby dolls in that chair and read many a book too.
Thankfully, my mom saved the chair for me.
Once I started having children, the chair left her attic and came to live with me. It was part of my daughter’s childhood bedroom for a few years.
Around twenty years ago, the chair migrated downstairs to our family room. It was there for children to sit in when they visited. One day, while I was on a particularly long phone call, I decided to rest my legs and sit in the chair. Well, with in a couple of minutes, I felt like Goldilocks must have felt when she sat in Baby Bear’s chair. I broke it. How embarrassing.
My beloved rocking chair from my childhood was severely fractured. I didn’t know how to fix it or if it could even be fixed, but, I couldn’t bear to throw it away. I put the jumbled heap of wood in our attic where it stayed for at least another ten years. Every time I went into the attic for something, I would see the broken chair and think, “I need to fix this one day”.
The Natural Progression of the Empty Nest
There is a natural progression to the empty nest. It seems to start when the firstborn is close to graduating from high school. That is your first inkling that your nest is beginning to transition from full to empty. It’s when you first come to grips with the fact that things are changing, and fast.
- High School Graduation
- College Graduation
- Grad School
- Establishing a home
You get where I’m going with this don’t you? You know what comes next in the natural progression of the empty nest.
Preparing For the Next Stage
Some time between my daughter’s marriage in 2015 and my son’s marriage in 2019, I decided it was time to see about fixing that chair. After all, I may need it again. I sure hope I do.
There’s a man in town who does good woodwork and has made several pieces of furniture for us. My husband took the pile of broken chair to him, to see if he might be able to put it back together. Amazingly, he was able to fix it. I got my little rocking chair back, good as new. I have no idea how much it cost although I’m sure that it was more than the original price of the chair. To me, whatever the cost, it was worth it.
So, now the chair waits patiently and I wait (sort of) patiently for some tiny little person to come and rock their baby doll or read their book. We are ready. Just waiting on the other involved parties to realize they’re ready. I’ll keep you posted.
I have many friends who are entering the grand parenting phase of life. They seem to love it and I enjoy watching them, with ever so slightly a tinge of longing. If you’re an empty nester, are you in the grandparent stage yet? What is your favorite thing about it? I’d love to know.