Today, the first day of the rest of my life, is the day I officially wean my son. He hasn't really been nursing for a while, but still, this is the final cut-off. Part of me is in a deep, quiet grief. In my memory I sit snuggled on the sofa, one knee bent as my son makes a warm, soft living blanket who fits so perfectly in my arms. We meet each other's eyes and study each other's faces. His left ear has a little crinkle in the top that makes it pointed, like an elf. I pet his hair and his eyes roll back inside his head as he enjoys pure bliss. The mommy-feeling bubbles up inside of me like a subtle fountain, soft and oh, so sweet that it hurts. In the middle of the night I sit in the blue chair, laying my head back on the cushion and praying for my son. I prayed that he would be drawn close to Jesus, that he would he healthy and would find God's plan for his life. I prayed for his future wife and family. I prayed that he would be kept safe as he grows.
At other times, I would invite him to bed with me, snuggling him beside me, he would cease his crying and smile his sunny smile at me before he would close his eyes and have a snack, falling sweetly asleep in complete peace.
Now he is on the go across the floor. As he gained mobility he lost interest in snuggling and began to lose weight as he refused to quiet down and eat. I started bottles which he accepted gratefully. They solved the crying problems and the sleeping problems since his tummy got filled.
While a part of me grieves, another part of me feels relief. No more long sessions of pumping, taking 45 minutes sometimes. No more equipment to wash, no more enduring the pain of Mastitis shooting up and down my left side. No more awkward sessions in public or wondering if the lacy curtains on my window are adequate cover. No more uncomfortable tossing and turning at night.
I watch him now, moving on his tummy across the floor and my heart surges with love. I love my baby. I know I will always miss those intimate times of Mommy-milk, but I love his joy in discovery now. He sucks his bottle quickly down so he can go play with his sister. Looking forward to the years ahead, I will watch him grow from a baby into a boy into a man. I'm glad I will always have the memories of him cuddled against me, his baby-blue eyes looking up into mine, his mouth curled into a milky smile. As I write this, my own smile emerges through my tears.