Rockin’ Grandma

Rockin’ Grandma
by Sandra Reed

I’ve been off my rocker for many years now, but that all changed today. I was shopping for an armchair for my living room—a La-Z-Boy or a wingback—when I literally tripped over a rocking chair. It was a beauty—solid maple with carved spindles and a paisley print seat cushion that ran all the way up the back—much like the one I used to rock the kids in years ago. The one my mum bought me the minute I  announced I was pregnant.

Rocking was huge in those days. Rocking cradles and rocking horses were everywhere and most homes had a rocking chair or two. Mom made sure my first rocker was perfect. The arms had to be just the right height so I could rest my elbows when I was feeding the baby and it had to be just the right size—not too wide and not too narrow and high enough to rest my head.

I lulled both my kids to sleep in that chair and the only time I was off my rocker was when the leg broke and my husband had to re-glue it out in the shed. Back then it was a well known fact that babies need to be held and rocked as much as they need to be changed and fed, so every mom had a rocker. Instead of Tylenol, doctors prescribed the rocking remedy for fussy babies and I realize now they were killing two birds with one stone. That soothing back and forth motion worked wonders for nervous moms too! Nowadays, we have more stress than ever but I see very few rocking chairs in baby’s rooms and it seems those bulky La-Z-Boys have taken over our family rooms.

Remember those rockers our parents sat in, night after night on the front porch, discussing the weather and which seeds to order for the vegetable garden? They’re gone too. Replaced by stiff wicker settees and aluminium lawn chairs that blow away in the wind. That’s progress?

As you’ve probably guessed, that rocking chair I stumbled over today is now sitting in my living room and Leon’s even threw in a few squeaks at no extra charge. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start a new fad. Of course we’ll have to change the name—maybe call them “mocking chairs” and add a few bells and whistles like built in surround sound and electrically heated, vibrating seats. But I’m sure we could bring them back.

The truth is, I didn’t buy that chair to start a new trend in home furnishings! I bought it to start a family. Not my own, of course, but my kids will soon be having babies and I want to be ready. Meanwhile rocking back and forth may not get me anywhere but it sure gives me something to do while I’m waiting. Rock on!

Sandra Reed is mother of two grown children and a real estate agent in Markham, Ontario. In her spare time she edits and publishes her own unique community newspaper but freelance writing is her favourite pastime. “My head is full of stories like Rockin’ Grandma,” says Sandra. “They allow me to savour the sweetness of the past while I take my readers on a walk down Memory Lane.”