Sunday, September 4, 2011

the end of an era

In the past few weeks we've had some big changes in our house. max went off to first grade…his first time at school all day long! ella has lost several teeth (taking her grand total to five lost). sam can all of a sudden count past 10. and henry has decided he's finished with nursing. that's the one that brings tears to my eyes.

i nursed all four of my children. ella and max did not nurse very long (in comparison with sam and henry), they both stopped around 6 months old. nursing wasn't as easy for me then, because i was working full time, which complicated things. sam nursed for about 11 months, but we had some issues that made it necessary to stop nursing him at that point. henry on the other hand, nursed for over 18 months. he's the only one of my kids that did not take to the bottle very well at all. i was in no rush to wean him, there was no reason to. i knew he would let me know when he was ready to stop. for the past 5 or 6 months he has only nursed in the evening and in the morning.
i loved nursing him, especially in the months after he learned to walk/run/climb, because it was the only time he would stop to cuddle with me. the beginning of the end was a few weeks ago, while we were on vacation. i would take him upstairs to nurse him and put him to bed, when all of a sudden he figured out exactly what that meant. if he nursed then he would miss the party going on downstairs and have to sleep. so, not only would he not nurse, but he would scream like crazy because he knew everyone else was having fun and he wasn't. i figured when we got back home we would get back into our routine. but no, he was finished. and just like that, it was over.

the end of nursing with each of my children was an emotional time, but it hit me the hardest with henry. he's our last baby, and each day he becomes more and more of a toddler. when he was cuddling and nursing in my arms he was my babe. don't get me wrong, he will always be my baby, but this is indeed the end of an era. it's not just about nursing babies, it's the about the harsh reality that my time with babies has come to an end, and that my children are growing up much faster than i would like them to.

so i will allow myself a little time to weep over the fact that my babes are growing up too fast, and then i will go back to enjoying every moment of watching them grow.

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