Tonight I nursed Wiggles for the very last time ever.
I’m so fortunate that we’ve had a great nursing relationship; it’s not something I take for granted. He loved nursing. It didn’t matter if he was hurt, or hungry, or sad, or tired, or just screaming for no apparent reason…nursing solved all his problems. And I loved it too. When he was really little, I loved stroking his tiny head and thinking about what life stored for him. As he got a little older, I loved the way his blue eyes looked deeply into mine, trusting me with his every need. And more recently, I loved the way he would twirl my hair or reach for my earrings or pull his crocheted blanket, constantly discovering the world around him.
Nursing may not be for everyone, but I’ve been so incredibly blessed to share this special relationship with my son. Sometimes I just wish I could nurse him forever, or at least until he leaves for college. But the time has come. He’s a toddler now, 15 months old. I didn’t have a plan to stop nursing him at any specific time; I always just figured I would stop when the time was right. And the time is right.
So tonight when I nursed my little man for the last time, I remembered. I remembered the very first time I nursed him and how completely exhausted I was at that point. I remember him having trouble latching on the first few days. I remembered when we brought him home from the hospital and his tiny little newborn screams. I remembered his first bath and I remembered how he used to pucker his face when he was scared. I remembered when he started crawling and would end up doing the downward dog. I remembered when he started standing and fell over constantly. I remembered watching him as he started delighting in the dogs, learning how to play fetch at the ripe age of 6 months old. I remembered when he bit my nipple for the first time and I slapped him across the face on accident. I remembered when he started crawling up the stairs and when he took his first wobbly steps. I remembered when he announced the news of his new cousin’s conception. I remembered when he discovered how to play peek-a-boo and I remembered how he used to crawl on top of the dishwasher door and hand me silverware.
And then I cried, because my baby is no longer a baby.