10 December 2007

Weeping Over Wicker


I cleaned it out and put it away over the weekend; the above bassinet.
I sobbed like the babies that have lain within it over the course of the past thirty-five years when I lifted it into my hands and put it in the corner where it will sit until it's needed again, for someone else. I suppose the day that I retrieve it, I again will cry.
I sobbed for what was, and for what won't be again. That very piece of furniture held me on the snowy night my parents brought me home, and my siblings after I. It held my cousins, and then their children. It held my babies and the babies of my sister.  It will probably hold the babies of others in my family.

I can feel the way that they will set the lives from them within it; I know that motion by heart. I know how they will rest their hands upon the sleeping beings, I know how they will stand there and hold their hearts and wonder how they will care for something so small and yet so very big.
My heart ached from the memories of first using it and the memory of the day that I knew that Little A wouldn't use it again. My hand went to my stomach, feeling the marks left permanently upon me from carrying the children that I've carried, reminders of youth passed and blessings given. Then my hand moved to my chest, and began tapping on it as I gasped for breath. 

I cried for what won't ever be again. For the babies that I won't ever carry, the flutters of first movements that I won't feel again, the kicks that won't make my shirt move, the anticipation and the wonder of what the face looks like within me, the face that I don't already and never will know.

How, how can it be that I've grown from a baby sleeping within that furniture to a woman weeping above it, wondering where the years went?

36 comments:

JustMe said...

What!? No clothes in the bassinet? Are you SURE that's YOUR house? It just doesn't look familiar to me. LOL.

I can relate a little too much to your post. "I sobbed for what was, and for what won't be again." True. Oh, so true. ((hugs))

Tara said...

This makes me sad. I'm ready for another baby so badly.

KC said...

I'd imagine that piece of furniture would say that it has been blessed to be a part of your family's life and soul. xo

flutter said...

Or wondering if you've missed your chance?

I am sorry, love. I am holding you, in spirit.

Lawyer Mama said...

I know this pain, sweetie. It's why I can't quite let go of having a 3rd. I can't bear to know that we're passing each mile stone for the last time. Time goes so fast.

Mamma said...

You have no idea how much this resonates with me. In some ways, I'm so ready to move on to the next stage. In others, it just hurts my heart.

slouching mom said...

That last sentence -- beautiful.

Her Grace said...

I remember that bassinet sitting in the closet in my nursery-before-it-was a nursery, delivered to me much too soon in the firm belief I would indeed need it one day. I opened the closet one day after I had forgotten it was there and it made me gasp out loud and burst in to tears. Later, I stood over it with tears of joy. Both of my girls used it, and I had a hard time letting go of it when it was time for me to pass it on. But a family heirloom can't be a family heirloom unless it's shared, I suppose. It truly is special.

You may not want to tuck it away any farther than the back end of your car...the next family baby is due December 8th.

Angela said...

Time flys so fast.

jen said...

oh honey. i know. i really, really know.

this whole journey humbles me.

Janet said...

I have slowly been giving away all of my baby stuff. Little onesies, impossibly tiny rubber boots, soft receiving blankets. Ooof. It's hard to let them go, isn't it?

Lovely post.

Loralee Choate said...

Oh, how I feel this today...

bgirl said...

oh how i hear you on this one.
reading this reminded me of those thoughts and feelings i've had to push far away into the corners my mind and heart.

Joker The Lurcher said...

what wonderful continuity in your family - i hope the next baby enjoys it too.

luckyzmom said...

In an instant I was standing over a bassinet looking down on the beautiful dark lush head of hair of my daughter and then of my son. Thank you for the beautifully written post and the memories it envoked.

Amanda said...

I know this melancholy, it is dizzying. You are going through so much right now, I am imagining the adventures you have ahead, shopping with your girls, dropping peanut shells at your feet as you sit beneath a starry sky at the bottom of the eighth, and taking cruises with your dear Adirondack blogging friend. Cause we will go on cruises, right?

Suz said...

As I was thinking of what to say here, I started imagining not only your past, but also the future, of another baby occupying this bassinet. Maybe not your's, but a child of a friend or one of your daughter's -- another little head occupying the place where so many others have been.

Joy, of course said...

Oh this makes me cry. I am in that process now, doing everything for the last time. Packing up, giving away, things that were so carefully chosen and anticipated. I wish it didn't hurt so much, I wish time passing could just bring joy.

This post was absolutely gorgeous. And because it touched me so personally, i am linking you.

ALM said...

How sad, but how incredibly cool to have that history! To have your children use the same bassinet you did! Amazing. I'm so jealous!

Jen M. said...

What a beautiful room. And a beautiful post. You're the perfect voice for the bittersweet that is motherhood.

Oh, The Joys said...

Thinking of you, Jenn. The babyhood just slips through out fingers.

T with Honey said...

When a dress that I wore when I was a toddler made it back into my hands all I could think was "I was small enough to fit in this at one time?"

As I tried it on Princess I thought "Wow, I'm the mommy now.
Someday I'll be the Grandma... where's the remote so I can hit the pause button!!! Fast!!!!!!!!!"

Christine said...

I have one, too! I slept in it, my sister, my two cousins, and my two babies. it has traveled from colorado to california to virginia and then to new york. and this is where it will stay as my sister couldn't use it because of a big crack in it's side. i cried, too.

{{hugs}}

Wayfarer Scientista said...

What a beautiful bassinet...and all those beautiful memories.

Ally said...

Wow, what a treasure, to have that bassinet being passed around the family, from one generation to the next. That is really beautiful.

Amy York said...

What a beautiful picture you painted...

crazymumma said...

oh man.

how lucky you are to have lain your babies in the bed you lay in.

I totally understand your tears.

carrie said...

I know.

Looking forward is hard sometimes. It just is.

MP said...

That is a beautiful post. I wish there was a way for me to disconnect myself from THINGS..the memories are in my heart why must I be so attached to a piece of wood, plastic..wool?

Jacquie said...

I have had a hard time adjusting to our "last" baby being it. I was so sure, but have found myself doubting. I then think ok we have 3, I can't keep having babies to well have a baby in the house can I?

Well that and the fact I'm not normal in just saying hey I wanna get pregnant, I need drug assistance.

Sigh whats a girl to do??

Becc said...

Sigh....

I did the same about 11 years ago.

Now I question whether to do it again.

I don't know if I want to. That chapter was closed.

Love to you and your babies.

Jenn said...

What a beautiful post. And how funny that I felt some of the same things just yesterday as I polished the rocker MY mother rocked me to sleep in, the same one I used for my girls. And then I imagined my granddaughters being rocked to sleep in it and all was good in the again.

ewe are here said...

My wee one is coming up on the six month mark, and I've been packing away the baby clothes, unable to give them away yet... I never thought I'd want a third, and yet... I keep thinking about it... especially as he's been such an easy, happy baby.

I think I'll keep my baby stuff a bit longer.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer,

Perhaps you should try and publish. Many great poets and writers suffer tragedy and great experiences, wrote about them and did great.

How are you? It has been many years since I have seen you and spoke with you.

Elaine

justabeachkat said...

What a beautiful written post. So touching! And I loved the photo.

Hugs!
Kat

Magpie said...

I have the same bassinet, put away in my basement. Well, not the *same* one, but you know what I mean.

Someday, when I'm feeling really nerdy, I'm going to write the names of all the babies who slept in it on the bottom.