As any parent could tell you, little ones go through many stages in such a short period of time. Just when you get used to something, they change it on you! The coming days mark an end to a stage with Avila that has brought me more joy than almost any other.
When Avila was born I made the commitment to both her and myself that I would breastfeed for a year. The first few weeks brought many (shall I repeat, many) challenges as I was struck with mastitis, thrush, and pain that would make any new mom want to quit nursing. But I knew that things could only get better and finally, a couple months into it, both Avila and I got the hang of her feedings.
But to our relationship, nursing has been about so much more than just nutrition. It has been about the bond between her and I - a bond that has been established and grown throughout these past months. I will cherish the nursing stages Avila went through - including the times when she was so distracted and couldn't miss out on anything that even turning the page of a book was too much! This is something that only her and I share, and I can tell she knows it. She has a language and a certain smile shes uses only when she is nursing, and as I mentioned before, I will treasure these memories and hold them close to my heart.
Now that Avila is approaching a year old (next Monday!!!), I have started to wean her. Some moms choose to continue and even though Avila nurses hardly at all during the day, a part of me is ready to"graduate" her to toddlerhood. I will certainly miss these times between us, but this next step is another signal that she is not mine. I must enable and nurture her and prepare her to step out into this world on her own. It begins now. She knows that she is loved and secure. This is most important. She has a mom and dad that would do anything and sacrifice anything for her, and through these important early years of formation, we will continue to strengthen her bond to us in many new ways.