On summercamp and last nursling.

'Tis another season. 

 

Motherhood is very much like the earth. Always changing. Always succumbing to the next phase, the next weather change, the subsequent ebbs and flows it must keep enduring for the sake of the life it sustains.  

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Lately, I have been feeling the winds of change pushing me forward to embrace another season I'm not quite ready to embrace.  

 

Yesterday may have been the last time I ever nurse a child. Maybe. I didn't consciously think it may have been when I was in the midst of that thankless event I've come to take for granted as much as I do breathing. It's just become apart of every day. As normal and predictable as a new load of dishes and laundry. It's just always there for me. Waiting. But I didn't consciously decide. And I don't want to, because I don't want to presently be aware of the moment when it ends. If it has ended, well, it's in the past now. 

 

I've been experiencing some awful weaning symptoms. Awful. I never experienced any of this before because there was always new life in my body when weaning was complete. My body, anxiously anticipating the new life that would need that sustenance upon first breath.  

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Its a time to mourn. A time to reflect on what I've been able to accomplish. Six yearsof combined nursing is no small feat. And it almost didn't begin. I wanted to give up every second in those first weeks of my first borns life outside the womb. I hated Motherhood. 

 

But motherhood has wrapped me in its web. I am no longer me without motherhood. And I've given life six times. Six times God has given. Five we've enjoyed and nurtured on this earth. One, is in His grace. Which is why that child is named Grace. And I don't regret any of this. Any of these times of hormonal hell. Because it means I've been blessed beyond what measure I could've sought for myself. These sacrifices are investments. And I've made sure, thru God's grace and mercy as He's given me the ability, to make sure the investment was an "all-in" sort of one. 

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Soon, that child I wanted to give up on, my firstborn, he's going to summer camp in six weeks. Without me. And I look around and I think, "wait, how can all of this be over? How can you be this age, with this height, and this independence? I just started, I thought. I just got the hang of this "mothering you" thing. I was just sitting in that white rocker sobbing with you as you suffered with colic everyday for months."  

 

My brother is soon to welcome his first child in mere weeks from now. The beginning of a journey that I recall nearly ripped my heart out. It still does. And I miss the beautiful naivety that I held so tightly going into that season. I wish it lasted just a tad longer. It's exciting for him, but I can't help but ache knowing those experiences are likely over. 

 

I can't believe it's been 10 years. Ten years of sustaining life with my own body. Ten years of literally being the home where tiny bodies swelled at the sacrifice of my own.  

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And now my body doesn't understand. It doesn't understand why the giving of life is stopping. It doesn't remember how to be just a giver to one solitary life, my own. 

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I can't help but feel out of sorts with it. It is something I will greatly miss, and secretly hope it's not the last. You think I'm crazy? That's fine. But as much as it's taken from me, I will always silently hope that maybe there will be that one more time. But if this is the last, if it must be so, my hope will lie in the fact that I can be proud of all the giving I've done. I can be proud of the health my children possess and the super-glue like bond I have and will always have with all of them. I gave it all up for them. I did. And I still will. In different ways. 

 

I must keep savoring Lego's in short pockets, little girls dancing in circles, and the crawling into lap times, because those are leaving me quickly as well. A little more time, and those strong winds that take my breath away, will blow those times away as well. 

 

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Ive missed a lot this past year because I haven't been able to navigate the way I've felt with much grace. What I've found is, though, that while these children may never remember our nursing relationship, they intrinsically know, they know how much I gave up for them. And they've given it right back to me this past year.  

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They have become the most attentive, giving, thoughtful group of little humans that God ever made. I've gotten more random homemade cards, tea brought to me, dishes done, laundry folded, hugs and I love you's, gracious words, and heart-filled prayers than I would've ever gotten otherwise. 

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These children love me  (almost) as much as I love them. The new season must come. Motherhood continues in new stretching ways. There will still be newness found if I have the eyes for it. And there's still a lot of work to be done, yet. But the seasons do come all too quickly, and I do wonder if it ever gets easier for a mothers heart to endure the breathlessness that wind of change brings. 

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I cant help but think that maybe it doesn't. 

 

<3, Alicia.  

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