©2020 Gladly By Karissa Barker

  • Karissa

There's Something in the Rocking

When I was pregnant my aunt brought over the glider she had nursed and soothed and rocked her two boys in. It was the same one my mom rocked my two brothers and I in. I sat and rocked my daughter to sleep, rocked her to nurse, or rocked her just because she (or we) needed it every single day for the first two years of her life. That was the hardest to move out of her big girl room. I didn’t want to give up that rocking; the private mama-love ritual we had had every day of her life.


Have you ever seen a mama holding a baby, swaying back and forth, and noticed what happens when she stops holding her child? She still sways. I do it, just watching a mama hold her baby, even though my baby’s legs are so long she has to fold them like origami to fit small on my lap now. It is this innate God-given ability to soothe and protect. There’s something in the rocking.


I was with a friend, a young single mom with the world against her, and watched her sit down on a rocker and rock that sweet baby back and forth and back and forth. It was one of those moments where you feel you are witnessing something sacred, trespassing on secret ground, but it was so beautiful and plain and natural.


There’s something in the rocking. There is a stillness in the forward and back, forward and back. A safety. It is as if every pendulous swing is a reassurance. You are safe, you are loved, you are special, you are important. And on and on and on. The rocking brings us back, connects all us mamas and grandmas for generations. We may feel that we have little to give, we may feel that our babies deserve so much we don’t have, but that’s not true. What our kids need most from us is in the reassurance of that rocking all of us mamas do almost by accident. And that rocking never goes away. There is always us, wrapping ourselves around our children, reminding over and over and over you are safe, you are loved, you are special, you are important.