Breastfeeding beyond two is a lesson in trust


My darling, you are two and still breastfed – the child I prayed to God I’d manage to nurse for six dear months, never sure we’d make it.

Your long, lean limbs sprawl out, growing surer. Your body, mind and voice are strong. I look at you and admire your growing independence, always ready with a “No” and surprisingly fast when you run away. Every day you do one hundred things I’d never imagine doing, such is your creativity, your confidence, your separateness from me.

So when you come to the breast, I’m under no illusions: our relationship has changed. I am not your life-source as I once was. You eat so many foods these days. It’s only comfort some might say, as if comfort were so mundane and unimportant a thing. As if the ability to create peace within another human being could be easily mustered by anyone. As if it were simple.

Yet what I see happening between us is so complex. At the breast you continue to learn trust. You learn that you may run into this world, exploring, inventing, asserting but I am here when you need retreat, when you remember you’re still so little. I am here to provide continuity in a world that is ever changing.

As we go on, I too learn trust. I trust that you will leave me when you are ready. I trust my instinct and won’t put others’ opinions above your needs or my own. And I trust that the bond we’re forging will survive lost memories of all these brief moments at the breast.

I trust, knowing that I don’t know how much time we have left.

There was a giveaway attached to this post, hence some of the comments are random. It’s long since closed, so I removed the details.