We did it! We spent Saturday searching for a new chair for Briar’s room.
My belly is fast overtaking any lap I have to offer her at night for storytime.
I don’t think of myself as picky, but I knew that it couldn’t be a glider.
WARNING: I am about to be blatantly honest, which can often be interpreted
as rude and judgmental. My apologies to any glider fans out there.
I think that gliders are the ugliest, tackiest things ever created and only
serve to perpetuate the idea that being a new mom is nothing but denim
jumpers, mom jeans and a farewell to any pre-existing funkiness and sass.
We give birth to people, not life sentences to Sunday school and Tupperware
Furthermore, gliders seem to be offered exclusively in colors, patterns and textures that I find aesthetically offensive. The kinds of patterns you’d expect to find on the shapeless shifts and boxy blouses that women with personalityless
bobbed hair gravitate toward.
Yes, there are things I find interesting that I did not notice before Briar. But in seeking a chair to use for reading to her and nursing her sibling on the way, I did not want the equivalent of an orthotic shoe (though I do appreciate a
I wanted a dreaming chair.
I wanted something that when we opened the door to her room would call out to us like your favorite climbing tree from your childhood, or the welcoming arms of your grandparents at the airport. I wanted a place that we could go to
escape and explore. A place that could transport us to billowy clouds and mountain peaks. To meadows filled with butterflies flitting from bright red tulip petals to puffy clusters of lilac. To lakes on brilliant sunny days, with reflections so bright
you have to squeeze your eyes shut.
We’re not just talking about a chair, we’re talking about a ticket. A gateway. An unspoken promise that your dreams can always come true, that there are not limits to your imagination. That it is possible to leave your troubles behind you and go to a place where you feel safe and filled with hope. I want Briar to remember that place. I want her to remember that her parents loved her and believed that the magic that is so much easier to reach in childhood could always be at her fingertips. That we remembered it enough ourselves to make sure we shared it with her.
When I fall out of touch with that magic and that hope I find myself in the darkest times. It is then that I go back to the stories my mom told me about fairy blankets when I was a little girl. I can remember the place in front of my house where I was always able to find them. I remember how the rocks looked and how the slope of the sidewalk felt beneath my feet. There is nothing that has ever happened to me that I was not able to soothe on some level with a visit to the fairy blankets of my memories.
I honestly believe that my greatest responsibility to Briar is to equip her with fairy blankets to see her through, even when I won’t be there. Our chair will be the first layer of that foundation, so you see, I just couldn’t do it in a plain old glider chair.
When I saw this chair I knew our search was over. The bright stripes reminded me of the carousel scene in Mary Poppins. When I sat down the cushions squished down and then bounced back, cradling me. A few feet away I saw the ottoman with its swirling pattern of climbing green vines. How could this not be the perfect companion for the Mary Poppins chair. Together they were so full of whimsy. I hoped that Sean wouldn’t mind the “mismatched” patterns. When I pointed out the ottoman his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “That’s it!”
At home in Briar’s room the magic was undeniable. I think you’ll see in the pictures just how much she loves them. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll see a little bit of yourself and the magic you found as a kid. I think we could all use a little more magic, a little more laughter and a little more hope.