It was my connection to this new tiny being in my world. It was my secret weapon for calming an active toddler. It was my peace from a child who NEVER. STOPS. TALKING. It was my peace of mind during cold and flu season. It was a way to force ME to lay down and relax and do nothing. It was a quick snack when the unorganized mama didn't bring one. It was sustenace for the boy who wouldn't even taste food until he was 13 months old. It was I'm Sorry, It'll Be Ok, Don't Be Afraid, I Love You.
I never set any deadlines, never cut him off, and truly never resented or regretted a minute of it. It didn't make sense to put an artificial stop to something so natural. I told him that when he stopped was his choice. And he said "When I am 5 I will stop." And about a week after he turned 5 this summer he unceremoniously stopped asking. And then recently he finally said, "So can I have a weaning party now?" He was ready, I was ready, the boobs were ready. It happened so naturally and so peacefully it's almost surreal.
Not that much has changed in our relationship. We still have a family bed. He still wants to be close to me and snuggle. It's just that now my shirt is down. Now it's ALL about the closeness and not the milk. Now it's about checking in not checking out. Now it's about sharing our words and feelings more than me sharing my body. And more than anything, it's about that bond we'll always have.
And here's a lovely little book we were honored to be a part of called Near Mama's Heart by Colleen Newman. It's the only one I know of that meant for kids that shows real photos of real mothers nursing. This photo for the book was taken by my dear friend Diane when Zach was 15 months old.
It's just a mama feeding and nurturing her baby the best way she knows how.