The Big Green Chair
Into the big green chair in our bedroom, I would climb each morning, pulling one leg up under me while using my right foot to slowly rock back and forth. First reading from a morning devotional, then writing in a journal with my favorite pen, I’d sip a hot cup of coffee, while I’d slowly wake up to face my day.
The previous two years had included two surgeries, my dad falling twenty feet from the roof of my parent’s home while we were visiting, and our two oldest sons graduating from college and moving to different states. Now I found that chair more and more often throughout the day. I’d rock back and forth while I watched the birds in the big old birch tree out front, the neighbors and their pets rushing here and there, and the seasons as they slowly changed.
In the evenings, it became easy to click on the TV across the room. Click, click, clicking the remote, I tried to find something. Maybe a new life? Don’t get me wrong, I loved the life I was living as a home schooling mom. But our children were growing up and moving on, and the homeschool mom part of my life was becoming obsolete.
When one of the four bedroom in our house became empty and we didn’t have enough children living at home to fill it with even one occupant, I grieved that our household was getting smaller after all those years of bursting at the seams.
But this did not change the fact that the bedroom was empty, that it had the potential to be a place of me, and that I hated the wallpaper. In what seemed like a good deal at the time, I said to my husband, “I’ll clean all the wallpaper off the walls, if you’ll paint.”
Days later, I had no fingernails, but I had ripped, pulled, complained and scrubbed until every trace of wall paper was gone. Eventually the room was painted a calm “Almond Brittle,” a new light fixture was hung, and my roll top desk, little shelves, and file cabinet were moved into their new places. Favorite framed cards and sayings were ready to be hung on the walls to inspire me.
Plunking myself into that big green chair in our bedroom, I cried. I had always longed for a space of my own, but I longed for all my kids home even more. Silly me. Really, I was immensely proud of them and had been their loudest cheerleader as they found their way. I would never wish either of our two oldest back to the top bunk in that bedroom down the hall.
Our master bedroom looked empty now that all the office furniture was gone. My husband and I pushed our bed and dressers here and there, back and forth, looking over the whole room and shaking our heads. “No, this just doesn’t seem right.”
Looking at that green chair, I realized it didn’t fit our room anymore. It was big and clunky and faded and old–like I was feeling.
We banished it to the basement.
Both my husband and I eyed the TV. It was convenient and comfortable to lie in our bed at night click, click, clicking the remote, but without a word, we both gave a nod of our heads and exiled the TV to an upstairs’ closet.
These changes may seem small, but they were a new beginning. I was reminded that my life couldn’t be found in the green chair or the TV or turning the clock back to when we all fit in this nest we call home.
You won’t find me staring out the window. And, you won’t find the green chair in the basement. Our youngest son snagged it for his apartment when he moved out.
Kristi Scorcio is the proud mom of four children who each have chosen unique paths to places far from home. Krist and her husband live on the east side of Wisconsin and are busy plotting the next chapter of their own adventure.