Hope has been officially done with her high chair for a few weeks now. And yesterday I decided that I'm officially done with it, too. Tomorrow morning I will be bringing it to the home of a first time Grandmother of two. It makes me so happy to know that it will be going to a good home, as silly as that may sound.
Brian stood in the kitchen and started to tear up. "I'm going to miss that high chair! We had so many good times with that thing."
Me: umm. huh? He seems to have quickly forgotten me on all fours picking up all the food that his sister catapulted from her tray at each meal.
But he's right. This wasn't his or Gavin's chair. I got rid of those when we were "officially done" having babies and God "officially had other plans" and I had to turn around and buy a new one for Hope. But it still symbolizes a really special time in our life.
I remember why I chose this particular high chair. Not for ratings or reviews... or style, even. I chose it because I'm a romantic. The theme of ALL of our first baby's equipment was "Rainforest" which reminded me of Puerto Rico... which was the final destination of the flight where I was Ed's flight attendant the first day we met. We went back to Puerto Rico several times before we had Gavin and loved going to the rainforest there. So each time I looked at that silly Fisher Price Rainforest high chair - even to this day - I remember the love that brought us each of our children that sat in that chair. Sounds ridiculous and over the top and super-syrupy, doesn't it? But it's truly how I felt when I chose the theme - and truly how I feel tonight.
I remember the first time we put Gavin in his high chair... only to take him out and try again months later. It took him a long time to gain head control and trunk control. The day that he did finally sit in the chair was a huge event. I mean - we should have had a party. And when I learned how to puree all of Gavin's food and he started to eat - even though it was predicted that he wouldn't - it was a reason to celebrate all over again. That high chair was also the setting for lots and lots of therapy. He finger painted in that chair - he helped bake cookies in that chair - he had speech therapy and feeding therapy and bubble blowing and more in that chair. I have so many wonderful memories of Gavin in the kitchen in the highchair.
When Brian came along, we (and by we I mean I, of course) just HAD to have the same exact high chair for him!! No other high chair or theme would do!! If you can just imagine both boys, side by side in matching high chairs - oh, wait! You don't have to imagine it!! Here's an adorable video that, trust me, you will be really glad you watched...
When I was pregnant with Hope, I quickly considered a "girly" high chair - but then just as quickly dismissed the idea as ludicrous. How could I change it up now?!? If there were ANY time for me to be reminded on a daily basis about the love that brought each of our children to this earth and into a high chair - it was after the death of the child we chose it for in the first place.
This is just how my mind works - and how my heart copes.
It was a joy to watch Hope in this high chair from the first day as a tiny little peanut... to the last when she would climb in and buckle up herself.
But surprisingly, I am ready to let go. As Hope moves on from her baby things, I find myself feeling a strange sense of relief that I didn't expect. I am happy for forward progress. I don't feel that longing that I used to feel in my heart - a tugging that we weren't done just yet.
So tomorrow, the Rainforest high chair will have a new home. I hope they somehow can feel that this is more than a mere plastic chair. It's a symbol of love on the move. And just like love, my memories of those precious days will never die.