Place: my unborn baby’s room, rocking in her big yellow chair. 11 years ago.
I look around the room and see all the pretty warm things I have put into place, all the soft colors, pale pinks and yellows, lavenders, sweet-pea greens and fine white organza. The iridescent curtains catch the streaks of gold hitting the windows and I pray that she will like it here on Earth. I want to protect this mystical angel growing inside of me with every ounce of strength that I have left. I want to keep her peaceful and warm in this chair, in this little room, while I try to prepare us to walk through the big world outside in heavy overcoats -- a world that in ten years might be colder than it is today and too painful to explain.
“I will protect you from all that is yet to come. I will teach you well. I will try to not repeat the mistakes I made before I found you, before I rocked us here in this sanctuary,” a promise I make with my hands connected across my enormous belly.
“We will spend our days and nights rocking in this big yellow chair with the baby white stars and moons. We will sort this world out together. My secret angel, I promise you this.”
I look over to the empty crib and see him sitting all alone on newly laundered lavender sheets. He is the very first present that I brought home to this room and this chair, a placeholder, the size of a newborn. His colors match the gingham crib bumper that I picked for her at first glance. He is patchwork, made from bits of tattered pieces of cotton that gives him the form of a young rabbit, sporting a tummy that might make a lovely pillow for her heart-shaped face. I see this baby girl, whose eyes I can only imagine, hugging him with her buttery arms and lacy fingers. He’ll bring her comfort when she’s alone, I think, when she awakens and there is no one there, when she needs someone or something that is just her size. She will tell him about her world of magnificent shapes and hands and colors. Oh, the stories she will tell him as she giggles and bites and chews on his tender paw.
I wish that I had never given that old safe-haven away, wish I hadn’t replaced it with another. If only I could rock her in it now, eleven years later, glide and roll her worries and the pain away… but at least he is still here, even if he clashes with all the new colors. He is still as patient as he ever was, content to sit alone, awaiting her return to this strange, earthly place.