It’s been an emotional week here at Casa Soliz. After going on a girls-only cruise with my college besties for five days, my Little Bit weaned and thus ended our two and a half year nursing relationship. I tried to remember the last time I nursed her and whether I remembered it being the last time. Right before I left, we were both in bed and I woke her up at 4 am to nurse so I could get up and leave town. I stroked her hair and held her close and kissed her. When she was done, I stopped and smelt her sleepy milk breath, knowing that this may be the last time this happens. And it was. Just like that, it was over. Nursing was such a big part of our lives for so long and one day it just ended. This of course started me thinking about babywearing and realizing that one day, it too, will be over.
I don’t think that we’re there quite yet. I still wear my Little Bit almost every day. She sleeps best snuggled in a wrap and her little toddler legs sometimes need a boost.
I’m happy to oblige as long as she is, but the ugly truth is that when it is the last time, I may not realize that is is THE last time. And I know that I can bribe a four year-old into almost anything with an M&M, so I can always stick her up in a carrier, but I’m talking about when the babywearing part is over. It’ll just be… over. This thought has been heavy on my heart lately. When will be the last time she whispers, “wrap please,” in a hushed tone when something is scary? Or the last time she ask where her “big girl backpack” is when her legs feel tired and stumpy? Just the thought has me sitting here eating prosciutto and ice cream for lunch and crying at my computer screen.
The truth is that I won’t and can’t know when THE last time is. I won’t know until after the fact that it is over, but I have to start preparing myself. I’ve been trying to understand in the scope of my children’s’ lives what babywearing has meant to them, to me.
When it’s over… what do I want them to take away from this?
When it’s over, I hope they look back fondly and these pictures and think that their parents wanted to hold them tighter and closer than their arms physically could. I hope they understand that they were worn babies because the desire to keep them close was so strong. I want them to see that they were so precious that what I really wanted was to have them be physically with me as much as possible.
I want them to know that I was drunk on the smell of them. From the top of their heads to the point of their tiny toes, I could never get enough. To have them snuggled near me, accessable for the sniffing, was my favorite drug.
When it’s over, I want them to know that although I carried them in my womb first, the time I carried them on my back was how I really became their mother.
When it’s over, I want them to have the same appreciation for my body that I do. It was these arms, legs, and back that carried both those babies for years, allowing them to explore from the safety of their mother’s arms. Thank you, body, for giving me this gift. When it’s over, I will continue to marvel in your abilities. (Maybe I should treat you more kindly.)
When it’s over I want them to know that I will miss the pulled hair, the apple slice in my bra, the feel of their sweat on my back. I may look more put together when it’s over, but I will never be so well adorned.
When it’s over, I want them to believe that connections and proximity with people is more important than connections with things.
When it’s over, I hope they know that it went by entirely too quickly.