The Rocking Chair Out of Time


As most of you know, Jeremy and I recently bought a house. It's the first house we've ever owned, after more than four states and eight years of marriage. We decided we liked it here, and loved the house, so we bought.

This new house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Modest, yes. But, big enough for Becky + Jeremy = Baby. We did that on purpose, since we don't want to go through the house buying process for many, many years.

In this home, there is a "guest" room. It's set up for guests with a queen size bed and other guest amenities. But, in my heart of hearts, it's our baby's room. You see, it is painted a hideous teal color I would never choose, even blindfolded. It was a four year old little girl's room before we moved in. So, one would think repainting that room would be high on my priority list.

 One would be wrong.

I decided I will repaint the room either when I am pregnant and planning the nursery, or when I have given up the dream of being a mother and moved on, knowing it will always be a guest room or office or craft room or whatever. So, for now, it stays teal.

So, the teal walls stare we down, visually demonstrating my failure to get pregnant each and every month. But, more than the teal walls, there is one thing in my house that is my emotional kryptonite.

The rocking chair.



Time travel isn't possible. I logically know that. But, I have a chair that exists out of sync with the rest of the space/ time continuum. You see, this chair has no place in the present.  It has a past, filled with beautiful memories, and a future, with hopes and dreams. But it has no place in my present.

Why, you might ask, would I torture myself by buying a rocking chair in the first place? I didn't buy the chair; I inherited it. It's my mother's rocking chair, one my sister, my dad and I bought for her a couple of years before she died. It was in her living room and I remember her rocking some of my cousin's children in that chair. I remember borrowing her Jeep to bring it home, since it wouldn't fit in my Dynasty.

 Mom had two rockers: one at school and one at home. As a kindergarten teacher, her school chair was well loved. Since Jen is the elementary teacher, it only made sense for her to take the school chair. I got the home one, the one that I remember he sitting in the most.

For years, the rocker has been in my house. It's moved state to state with us. But, it's never really fit anywhere. We tripped over it in our bedroom in Pittsburgh. It looked out of place with our modern black furniture in Rockingham. Now, in our home, it has been relegated to the guest room. In a way, it makes sense. If I get pregnant, that will be baby's room. The rocker is there, waiting for baby. But, the longer infertility lasts, the more it feels as though the rocker will never have a place in the present.

On Mother's Day, that rocker was the center of my one and only meltdown. I avoided the room pretty skillfully all day. I knew the teal walls were mocking me.  But, I needed something out of the closet in there and couldn't avoid it any longer. At first, I sort of forgot about the chair. But I had to move it when I opened the closet door. So, I looked at it and I began to think.

My dad gave me that chair before my sister was pregnant. That means it's been in my house about 7 years. I was still quite wrapped in grief from my mother's death when it came to me. So, the chair held her memory, the way she laughed and smiled when we gave her the chair. It was wrapped in her.

When we put it in the bedroom in Pittsburgh, I imagined sitting in the chair, reading stories to my child. When we hauled it to North Carolina, I imagined it would eventually need to be carted upstairs so Jeremy could rock our son or daughter to sleep. When we moved in here, I believed the room would soon be home to baby. I actually googled rocking chair seat cushions, determining which would look best with the chair. How na├»ve I have been.

So, on Sunday, the chair was too much to see. It was all about my mom, the way I miss her all the time, the way I wish she was here to comfort me and tell me to suck it up, the way I feel like I have been robbed of my mother far, far too soon. It was a barrage of the past and a reality that hurt far too much.

But, it was also the future, the one that frightens me, where the chair stays empty and the room never has a real purpose. Where I never hold my son or daughter. Where the idea of a child is only that... an idea. That's a reality that stings too much to consider.

So, my chair is stuck in a time warp. It doesn't belong. But, then again, on many days, on this infertility journey, I feel like I am stuck in the same limbo that chair exists in --empty and waiting for what the future holds.

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