Mom Was A Rocker

Mom was right. It’s not always easy to admit that Mom did know better on certain subjects. But she was absolutely correct when she said every home needs a good, solid rocking chair.

I can’t remember a time in my youth that there was not someone in the living room, rocking away. And there was always a rocking chair in the baby’s room upstairs. You would think that after raising 12 children, our mother would have tired of holding and rocking another infant. Yet many grandchildren and even a few great-grandchildren were treated to a time with her and the rocking chair.

Often times the rocking chair was the best seat in the house. It required ample room for rocking and placement in the room was important. We had to be careful so as not to rock on the tails of Spooky, the family cat, or one of an assortment of dogs who positioned themselves in harm’s way. On occasion, a Matchbox car found its way beneath the rungs of the rocker, putting it out of service temporarily.

The living room rocking chair was most often a wooden variety, with an ample seat and a homemade fabric cushion. When family friend, the Very Rev. Lawrence McHugh, would visit the homestead, we got out of his way. We knew he would head straight for the rocking chair. He, too, enjoyed rocking the newest infant destined for the baptismal font. Stories he told from that rocking chair managed to hold our interest as he balanced a short glass of Scotch on an arm of the chair.

The chair became a place of reverence, for it held the magic of soothing a sobbing child or bringing closure to the end of a trying day. There is something therapeutic and spiritual in the gentle rocking motion that is proven beneficial at all stages of life.

I’m not sure when the rocking chairs of the world became associated with old age. It doesn’t shine the proper light on the value of a good rock. Maybe it is only symbolic and not the true measure of the value of this piece of furniture.

The popularity of rocking chairs swings back and forth over the decades. They appear very fashionable and sought after on the wide porch at Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge. In all kinds of weather, men, women and children can be found rocking on that front porch. The rockers appear to be the unofficial greeters at the lodging facility. The simplistic design makes them appealing to all who venture to sit a spell.

That’s not to say the over-stuffed La-Z-Boy version of the rocking chair is to be snubbed. My husband and I have always had such a chair in our home. I spent many early morning hours in one of those chairs after rocking our son to sleep. We were snug in a nest of pillows and blankets as we both fell asleep to the soothing rocking motion. Now it’s the grandchildren’s turn to reap the benefits of that chair.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the rocking moms.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at: hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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