It has been one week and one day since I stopped nursing my baby Emet. Oh, how my mother’s heart aches and longs to nurse him, holding him close as he nurses innocently at my breast. It was but a year ago that he nursed for primary nutrition – yet most recently, it was only for his nighttime comfort.
My milk hasn’t dried up as quickly as I had imagined it would. I don’t remember it taking this long, or being such a process with Caleb, but perhaps it was – and time has faded the memory. I have momentary panics and bouts of sadness, when I realize that I am fully capable of nursing him still, comforting his cries, quenching his longing and mine as the evening’s busy playing and activities render his growing little body ready for the evening’s rest. What can I do but stand sadly aside, pushing my feelings away, continuing to let go, even though it is the last thing in the world I want to do?
I imagine what it will be like someday, sending my children off to college, the military, or some other such pursuit, realizing that never again will life be the same. Never again will they live permanently under my roof. Never again will the years of family time be the same. That time will have passed, a new stage beginning. Oh, that God had not created me to be such a contemplative soul.! Yet, somehow I cherish my tendency to reflect, to try to draw meaning and wisdom from each of these tender moments.
I knew the time would have to end, even soon, but letting go is such a hard thing to do sometimes. I often wonder at the immense responsibility and gift God gives to parents. We are in charge of the development and nurturing of little lives. And yet, they must shape us even more than we could ever shape them. They transform us from the inside out…..heart first.