I'm looking forward to getting rid of the baby swing. It takes up such a big space in our not so big living room. I imagine putting a cozy reading corner in for Kathleen or a real bookcase to replace the milkcrates housing her books right now or some kind of toy storage or . . .
I'm almost ready to ditch it (give it away, put it up in the attic for that tag sale we'll never have). I barely ever put Elizabeth in it. She never took to it the way her brother and sister did. When Kathleen grew too heavy for it, she went from a three hour nap to a twenty minute nap. I swore I wouldn't make that mistake again, so Elizabeth didn't swing much.
I started saying I was almost ready for the swing to go more than a month ago. It's still sitting here beside my chair, though. Now Elizabeth's far too big and too eager to be moving around. The last time I put her in it (a month ago? two?) she grabbed for the mobile pieces that circle around the top, so I took her out.
I thought it was one of the things I would have no trouble getting rid of.
Then I remembered.
December 14, the night we finally brought Henry home from the hospital, we put him in the swing, which he had always loved, and turned it on. His oxygen tubing tap, tap, tapped on the floor in the swing's rhythm. Henry looked at himself in the curvy mirror above him. He seemed to notice the mobile for the first time, not odd as he was six months old, not the three months he had been when he left the swing behind for the hospital.
Brian wanted to get some video footage of Henry in the swing, but before he did, Henry fell asleep. Our footage pans back and forth between our content, sleeping baby in the swing and me telling the story of our homecoming. I am deliriously exhausted and relieved and happy to be home and terrified at the prospect of keeping up with Henry's meds and keeping him healthy and haunted by what we had just endured. My story ends with us all home, getting ready for a busy med schedule, but all doing it together.
Brian focuses the camera once again on Henry, wishes him goodnight and then says More footage to come.
I didn't remember he said that until afterward, when we finally sat down and watched all of our video of Henry.
More footage to come.
And the screen goes blue.
The swing is just some metal and cloth and mechanical bits. And the very last place my baby was okay.
My to-do list f has us putting the bassinet and the swing up in the attic later in the week during Brian's time off. I've made a mental note to remove the batteries from the swing. I'm mentally cataloging space up there wondering where it will go. I'm ready, to get it out of the living room, not quite ready to get rid of it, though.
Someday. For now, I hold onto the swing and hold onto this: