I've spent an inordinate amount of time recently thinking about nursing baby E. As I type this, E is 3 years, 3 weeks, and 2 days old. If you'd told me that long ago, that I'd be nursing him at this age, I'd have laughed at you. Or shuddered at the mere thought, because, really, nursing a preschooler wasn't in my plan. And - I admit now - I thought it was kinda weird.
But, E looked no different on a Monday than he did on a Tuesday, than he did on a Saturday (or any other day). And one day led into the next. And then he turned one. And we kept nursing. And then he turned 2, and we kept nursing. And then, somehow, he was 3. And we kept nursing.
And I never felt a definitive moment when he should be done nursing. Never has there been a specific thing that made me - or him - think, "oh, we're done with this now". Never have I looked at him and thought, "you're too big/old/have too many teeth/talk too much/whatever for this".
Sure, there have been times when there were things I'd rather have been doing. Sure, there were times when I'd rather hubby put him to bed so I could snuggle with the kid. Sure, there were times when his latch got lazy and he teeth (momentarily) felt like sharp razors and I wanted to hide my breasts from him forever. Sure, there were times when I was touched out and just wanted my body for myself for an entire day.
But, truthfully, those moments have been rare. And, mostly, nursing E has been one of my favorite things.
But now it's been 7 days since E nursed. Double the longest time he'd ever before gone without nursing. At first, that was gently encouraged by me (because he has a cold and/or allergies and kept vomiting after nursing and a momma can only handle being vomited on so many times before she sets some limits). And though he initially was not happy with this, the last couple of days he hasn't even asked. He's climbed up into my lap for a couple of books and songs and snuggles before going to bed. While I love that time with him, too, it's just not the same as the nursing time. It's not.
I think, when it was over, I'd expected to feel nostalgic about our nursing time. Proud of myself for making my goal (just longer than the kid nursed). All warm and fuzzy about all the time that was just me and him, something no one else did for/with him. Strong for fighting through all we did - all *I* did - to be able to nurse at all. Accomplished for giving him what he needed and deserved for such a long time.
And I suppose I do feel all those things. Somewhere in the recesses of my head. But, mostly, what I feel is sadness. Mostly, I miss it.
One thousand, one hundred and eighteen days. Minus 7 days. That's how long baby E nursed. And, somehow, I can't believe it's over.
Today's Lesson: Sometimes, it's never enough of a good thing.