Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teach Me To Mommy

I LOVE this picture of my mommy (Mimi) nursing my little brother with me snuggled by her side. I have no doubt that experiencing this throughout my childhood had a tremendous impact on my mothering days. What she was teaching me, at the time, has come to be one of my favorite parts of motherhood. With that in mind, I'll share a recent experience...

Last weekend we were in Rapid City, SD celebrating the kids' birthdays. While we were eating, an adorable little girl joined our table (with no noticeable family in sight). She told us she was 7 years old and then she spent the next 15 minutes glued to our sides, watching our every interaction. I stepped away from the table to make my salad and when I came back I overheard Lee attempting to explain to the little girl why Brighton didn't have a bottle. She had been very concerned that he might be hungry and need his bottle. Lee told her that he didn't have a bottle and that babies can feed straight from their mommies. The little girl was dumbfounded--this explanation made absolutely no sense to her. And without pulling out my breast and showing her how it's done, she probably still doesn't believe he was telling her the truth.

It brings tears to my eyes to know there are so many little girls and boys who never get to witness or experience this loving act of nurturing. And while the law protects my baby's right to eat in public, I am becoming more aware of a secondary benefit of this breastfeeding law: another child may see, for the first time, a mother feeding her child with human milk. It may be their only opportunity to consider breastfeeding as normal and natural (rather than as an offensive practice too often exploited by our media and misunderstood by our idiotic, sex-crazed society).

During these last few days of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I want to send out high-fives to all you moms who breastfeed your babies whenever they are hungry, regardless of where you are. You don't fiddle or fret, worry or withhold. You, simply, "mommy" your babies. Thank you for being an example, a leader, and a teacher to all who witness you "mommying" your children.

1 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

Laureen said...

As always, spot-on, sistah. Here's what I think about that:

I'm currently tussling in a friendly (ha) fashion with a coworker, who wants me to leave my baby at home for "a very important meeting" and doesn't understand that at 10 weeks, Aurora's never had a bottle and hopefully never will.

Women *have* to stand up and refuse to be shamed or shoved under the public radar. Human milk for human babies!!!!!!

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