We are here just once a day now, here in this old green nursing chair.
I like to think of it as our secret favourite part of the day… I like to think it’s hers, but most likely it’s just mine. That’s what the books would say, I am doing this for me, or something…
I am doing this, because we do this. And I’m not sure how to stop.
She is the same, in many ways, as she has always been, for a thousand other feeds. Nestled in with her forehead on my arm she still looks like a baby to me. The one who fed with the little pink and white hat on in the recovery ward.
And she is utterly changed too… so long now in my arms, so much wild hair framing that pixie face…
I watch her. I can’t imagine feeding her when she is properly a toddler, can’t imagine nursing a child much older and longer. Her sister had lost interest by now. I watch her and think I’ll not still be feeding her when she’s in shoes, or when she’s any hairier, or when she can sit up and say a proper sentence. I know I won’t.
I watch her. I can’t imagine ever not feeding her. It’s our thing. Our secret favourite.
I know I could hand her to her daddy tonight, he could read her a story … Peepo or Hug or Fox’s Socks… and she would sleep, I think, and she would soon forget.
Let’s do that. Let’s do it soon. 2014 is my year of “Body”, after all, and it’s time I took mine back. I’ll have an Awards Ceremony for it, like Anne Lamott suggests in Operating Instructions. I’ll meet a friend for dinner at 6.45pm. I’ll leave her overnight sometime at her Nana’s. I’ll buy underwear that doesn’t come from Mothercare.
It’ll be good. But let’s not do it tonight. These are the last feeds for me, ever, and I’m going to enjoy them.
This is nursing without effort or pain or exhaustion. There are no hot face cloths or Lansinoh or record keeping these nights. There are no questions left , no second guessing to be done, no longer any conflict between my inner earth mother and my inner Gina Ford. We do this now without books or google or the health visitor. This is not her nourishment. Those days are gone. This is just a night-cap.
This is nursing without a clear purpose. We do this, because we do this.
It’s a miracle, really, that she still drinks so deep from my little body. It’s going to be some Awards Ceremony… soon, but not tonight…