Thank goodness my dad was handy enough and wise enough to know that this petite rocking chair was a treasure, not trash. It looks pretty fab in its current condition but that’s only because dad rescued ‘her’.
Just after he retired, he and mom began a ruthless purge of the attic space above their garage and found this – the very rocking chair that dad used as a tot, and according to family legend/lore, it belonged to his father before him.
One of dad’s first tasks as a retiree was re-weaving the seat (no small task for a man with enormous hands; he suffered cuts and cussed A LOT as he learned how to repair the chair). I wish I had a pic of the rocker to show you the woeful condition it was in when he unearthed it from the attic. It was pretty sad…so much so that if he hadn’t been keeping a watchful eye on mom, the rocking chair/heirloom would’ve become kindling.
When DD – our dear daughter – was just six months old, dad surprised her with the gift of a very special rocking chair – that chair, all shiny, new, and refurbished. DD wasn’t quite nimble enough to sit in it on her own, so dad would lay on floor, propping her up so he could sit and rock her – one hand holding her up and the other put to good use creating the soothing motion.
DD loved the movement and the nearness of him…it was so much better than the contrived swing-thing we used to rock her when she was cranky. Grandpa’s “rescued rocker” was much more fun. (Now that I think about it, it was fun for all the onlookers. Dad was 6’4” and watching him crawl onto the floor…and back up again after his Mr. Rocking Chair routine…was no small feat!)
Eventually DD got the hang of it on her own (it helped when her feet could touch the floor) 😉 and that sweet rocker became a much-used prop for adventures of all sorts with DD’s stuffed animals. Now that our ‘big girl’ has long outgrown her rocker, it’s safely tucked away for whomever will use it next.
A friend asked recently why I hadn’t just put the little chair away and I gave her an exasperated glare. Why on earth would I put it away, I wondered? Look at it. Handcrafted with love…a patina all its own, courtesy of my dad’s hands. No, no – this little wonder sits out where I can see her, every day, and she makes me smile.
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