Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Lifespan of a Swing

Today, a father of a four-week old baby, short on sleep, came over and bought our swing. When I told Mark last night that someone was interested, he looked at the swing with nostalgia.

“There are so many memories in that swing,” he said. “River sat in there when he was just a few days old, fresh from the womb.” He paused. “It’s scary to think about.”

This swing, the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing, was our trusty friend. It was the single best baby item we owned. It soothed River to sleep when nothing else would. If it wasn’t for that swing, we would have gone months with River unable to take a nap anywhere but our laps. It gave us peace and freedom. It gave River comfort and sleep.

We haven’t been using it much in the past few weeks because River now sleeps in his crib and he’s getting to the upper weight limit of the swing anyway. However, last night, his sleep schedule was altered by him not feeling well. He woke up at 5:15. I fed him. He made big, wide eyes at me in the dark. He was precious, but it didn’t look like he was going to return to sleep. And I wasn’t ready to get up for the day.

So I brought him downstairs for one final run in the swing. I strapped him in, turned it on, went upstairs and back to sleep. The rocking motion soothed him to sleep and he woke up cooing happily.

When I knew I was going to sell the swing, I washed the padding so it would be clean for the new owner. I wonder if the new baby will smell River’s presence there. Whether it will feel his calm.
I’m glad that another baby and another set of parents will benefit from the swing’s magic powers. And we’re glad to have the extra space. However, the swing’s former spot is now an open space, a reminder that River has moved on to another stage in life, one in which we all must manage without an in-home swing.

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