And then it’s over
A month or so ago, I had a rare day. I took some time to myself at my husband’s urging. I never take time to myself. There’s always something else I feel I should be doing. And when I work all week, it feels wrong to take even more time away from the kids, from my family.
But as the kids get bigger, it gets easier to leave for a few hours. So, I left the two of them and my husband planning a fun morning for themselves, while I headed off to the shops.
First stop Starbucks. I treated myself to a Cinnamon Dolce Latté and settled back into a comfy armchair. Then a sense of déjà vu crept over me. I’d sat in that exact spot once before. She was a tiny baby, maybe 6 weeks old. And she needed to be fed. As much as possible, I had avoided breastfeeding in public with my son. I was so afraid of it. But this was my second baby, and I knew that if breastfeeding was going to be workable, it would have to be convenient. So there was nothing else for it. I would have to grit my teeth, pretend that I was totally comfortable with public nursing and just do it. Nothing wrong with easing myself into it by picking a known breastfeeding-friendly establishment like Starbucks though.
I quickly latched her on and then looked up, checking I guess if anyone noticed. And who did I see across the way from me but a woman I had met the previous week at the local breastfeeding group, and she was sitting there feeding her own baby. And she smiled.
I smiled at the memory as I sat there thinking back on that day. How far we’ve come since then. I breastfed my daughter for far longer than I ever expected to and it was such an overwhelmingly positive experience. That day in Starbucks, when I sat reminiscing, we had already started weaning. We were down to a short bedtime feed, and some nights she wanted the milk and some nights she wasn’t pushed. The week after her second birthday, we gently stopped. And then that was it, another phase over. Two years sounds so long when you say it, but in many ways it was the blink of an eye.
It’s been a few weeks now since our last feed, and just this week, I overheard a discussion between her and her brother. He asked her if she wanted mammy milk or Bob-bob (bottle) milk. “Mammy no have milk,” she exclaimed. “Only bob-bob have milk.” She couldn’t understand what he was suggesting. That was it. It’s already forgotten.
In some ways that makes it really final. Now it’s over. I look back on the days and nights, and the feeds and cuddles, with a lot of fondness and no regrets. As it should be.