February 9, 2012

weaning me

If you've been here very long, or read even some of my posts from the past, you may have noticed I frequently dwell on my mid-life crisis. I have now determined it's going to last longer than any man's ever has. Come to think of it, I've never heard of a momma having a midlife crisis, have you? Am I the only one??

Anyway, I've written about our sons growing up and 2 of them moving out, and I've written about my future. Do I have one? I've written about our emptying nest, and I've written about the sadness that's brought. However, I don't think I've ever shown you the flip side-the good and sweet things that have surrounded the sadness.

I'd like to tell you first of all that there is a difference between the good and the sweet.

The good has been discovering things like:
-our grocery bill is smaller
-the house stays cleaner
-the nest isn't as crowded as it once was-we have a bit of room to spread out our wings
-um...um....surely there are more good things?....

Well then... what about the sweet things? The sweet things that have come have surrounded and surprised me. They've left me speechless and baffled and blessed me more than words can say.

I loved nursing my babies. I loved snuggling with those boys and filling their tummies, knowing that at the same time I was comforting them and filling their hearts. Nursing reassured and relaxed them and more often than not, they would go to sleep as they nursed, feeling safe, knowing they were loved.

But, like all good things, nursing had to end. Weaning them was hard. Being boys, they loved real food, but after a meal they'd want to nurse again. Are you still there momma? Can you please comfort me? Let me know you love me? Are we still a "we"? Weaning them was a step by step process, done slowly and gently so they wouldn't feel abandoned. Once each baby was weaned there was a change in the relationship. We were still a "we" but we both enjoyed our newfound freedom.

There's been a role reversal of sorts as each son has grown. I was the one who needed the reassurance, especially during the few months before and after they moved out. My heart frequently wondered, Are you still there son? Do you still love me? I know you are a man now, but are we still a "we"?

And that's where the speechless, baffled, blessed part comes in. My sons have risen to the occasion and weaned me. They've instinctively known and understood my sadness and have taken care to let me know I am and always will be loved. They pulled away gently and have done countless things to show me I'm still loved; little presents, frequent, frequent hugs, phone calls and visits when life allows. I have no doubt that we are still a "we". There's been a change in the relationship. We are still a "we" but we both enjoy our newfound freedom.

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