2.26.16 | growing pains

12:02 AM

a letter to clark

tonight i laid you down to bed for the first time in your nineteen months of life without nursing. in the grand scheme it seems so trivial but for nineteen months of our lives it is how we have began and ended each day and spent countless hours through the days and the nights. it wasn't planned for tonight to be the night, i don't know if "this is it" but it really feels like it. so here we are, inevitably weaning. though for months i've groaned at being through with breastfeeding, suddenly i don't feel ready at all. you have been closer to me than i ever could have imagined. when i prayed for a snuggly baby the lord must have laughed a little when he gave me you.

so here is how it happened:

just before dinner i handed you a bottle of warm milk, which you've never in your life have taken, but this time i told you it was "nurse, nurse", and that if you wanted to do it, this was how. to my surprise, you lit up in all of your toddler-i-want-control-glory and off you went back to playing with your brother with a tiny sip here and a tiny sip there, not really drinking it, but content. dinner came, and then bedtime.

we stuck to our usual routine, i sat in our usual spot, but this time i said just snuggles and handed you your bottle. to my complete and utter shock, you didn't protest. we sat and rocked. i laid you down, said goodnight but yet you became furious. you were so upset. i left the room to leave you to settle but when you did not i scooped you up expecting you demand we nurse, but again you did not. i offered you your bottle, but you asked for water, took a big drink and settled in to snuggle on my chest. you didn't lift my shirt, or demand it down, you didn't tap my chest, or stick your hand in after it. you just snuggled into me, closer than ever, staring wide-eyed back at me with two little fingers resting on your mouth. it is a moment i never want to forget. your long blonde hair pushed back, your arms tucked under your body as far as they could go, your tired, now relaxed eyes peering into mine. in that moment it was as if you understood that it was just time, like it was mutual. through your gaze everything was spoken, yet nothing at all. understanding, tenderness, acknowledgment, thanksgiving, sadness, anticipation, comfort, even joy. in that moment tears flooded over me. i don't know why i get so emotional about the whole weaning process, but i do. nursing is intimate and special to me. and it has been to you as well. it is the first act we did together after you were born, and where our physical, earthly bond began. it is one of the best feelings in the world, nurture at its finest. but tonight, you didn't need it.
i remember feeling this way with your bother as well, never quite ready despite how many times i said i was. i can truly say i love the gift that nursing is and has been for us. your every ounce of milk has been through me. the closeness, the bond, the ability to fully sustain another human being on something my body is programmed to make, it astounds me. i feel so blessed, so lucky to be able to have given you the best for nineteen months. nineteen months of you by my side every single day and every single night. i will absolutely miss this season but anticipate the new season to come.


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