It’s a bit too raw to say if this is really it, to speak it out loud. This post needs only one word in its title, since we owe it all to milky…
Thlee. He turned thlee today. Tonight, and almost every night preceding, he falls fast asleep in my arms. Tonight that tiny little furnace snuggles up to me, the smell of vanilla cake still lingering on his nose, and he says the words that nearly break my mothering heart,
“I really really need some miwky, mommy”.
For the first time in his three short years, I say to him,
“I don’t have any more milky honey”.
We whisper quietly back and forth to each other like this for a few minutes before he softly begins to cry.
“The miwky is runnin away…”
He’s three, I remind myself, and nursing him for three years is something to celebrate.We’ve made it through a tongue tie, through nights of cup feeding, tube and pinkie finger feedings, split and infected nipples, new teeth, and 4 bouts of mastitis. We did it, and I’m…tired. “
“Can I please check and see if there is any left mommy?”
I don’t feel like celebrating.
Milky needs can be met with love and snuggles and whispers about our day, I remind myself, but before I know it, silent, hot tears are spilling down my own cheeks. It’s then that he looks up at me in the dark. By the light spilling onto the bed through the opening in the door, I see his sad little eyes meet mine before he asks,
” Can I see your eyes mommy? They are wet, like mine?”
“Yes”, I admit sadly, honestly. “I love milky too. My eyes are crying because I love you so much. I am so proud of you for being three. You can lay in my arms, and I can sing you a song. That will help us tonight.”
” I don’t wanta song; I want someone to give me some miwky,” he whimpers.
A few minutes pass before he snuggles up on my chest, yawns, and falls asleep, proving to me that he no longer ‘needs’ my milky, but that he does, in fact, need me. As for myself, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to run out of milky…
I’ve spent week contemplating life and its counterpart death; the way we often do upon the realization that it is, indeed, a fragile balance. With my maternal grandmother being quite ill, my uncle recovering from heart surgery, and a dear young man I knew in my younger days having passed away far too soon, I’m feeling a bit somber. There’s nothing like sickness and death to knock us off our high horses of invincibility. I have noticed though, that with the wisdom that accompanies these types of experiences, that it’s easier to dig in and be helpful than to sit back and worry the way I once would have, so instead I’ve been cleaning, scrubbing, and schlepping alongside my cousin, preparing for my uncle’s homecoming this week. I’m digging up addresses to write to those who are grieving, and I’ve done my best to support my mother as she cares for her own. Because what else can we do? And my realization? What I spent last week complaining about, I’ve looked at in a new light. Life has a funny way of kicking me back up when I’ve been down. And although those things that bother me about my own life are real and deserve acknowledgement from me, somethings will always be more important…..
Things I’m appreciating a little more than usual this week…
Ashiko lessons with Papa Bear
ample egg production
little hands that can manipulate a screw driver to build this creation… and this…