October 29th, 2010

While I am way over due for a new post, I’m still not going to do one.  I am hard at work on a Christmas gift that if I don’t dedicate at least two hours to a day, is not going to be done on time.  In the near future I will regale you with tales of my past few weeks, but not tonight.

Instead, I am going to leave you with this video of Rowan singing….something.  🙂

Step one

Alas, the time has come.

My big two-year old boy and I have mutually decided to stop nursing.  That is, he pretty much quit nursing while we were on vacation, most likely because he was too busy having fun.  When we were on our journey home Rowan asked to nurse, and I told him that Mommy’s milk was almost gone, and when we got home he’d have to be done nursing.  He listened intently for a moment, and then eagerly completed his task and fell asleep.

When we got home I told him that if he could go seven days without nursing, he could get a present.  After inquiring if seven minutes would work, and finding out it wouldn’t, he cried.  He cried a lot and for a long time.  Eventually he fell asleep, out of pure exhaustion, but step one was complete. 

Come nap time the next day, we repeated the scene from the previous night, only with less crying, and a totally kick butt cuddle session as he fell asleep.  He requested several songs, a prayer, and for me to rub his back.  If I stopped, for even a second, he’s gently remind me to keep going by yelling, “MORE!  MUCH!” 

Tonight there was a LOT of talk about getting a present, which is apparently going to be a bulldozer guitar(???), but nary a tear was shed…by Rowan.

Yes, it’s true, I cried.  I don’t know if I will have any more babies, which makes watching this one grow up, bittersweet.  The bond Rowan and I have formed through nursing is unique.  It’s meant that I’ve had to be there for every nap, every bed time, and the spaces between.  It’s a commitment that, while difficult at times, has been one I’ve been pleased to make.  It’s meant I have been there.  For everything, if only by default. 

I know in the grand scheme of things, this is a minor step for him.  There will be more important things, scarier things, harder things that he will have to go through during his transition into the world.  Maybe it’s because it’s his first step to breaking away from me that makes this painful.

My son will need me a little less now, and I’m coming to grips with that.  In actuality I’m proud of the little guy.  He’s pretty much had to quit, cold turkey, a several-times-a-day habit he’s had for over two years.  There’s been no patch, no support group, and no sponsor to call when he’s had cravings.  That’s pretty hard-core!

I will continue to mourn this pastime we’ve shared for a few more days, and then I will look back on it with fondness for the rest of my life. 

Rowan nursing shortly after his birth.


When I was a young kid, I was adopted.  Before that, I had the privilege of living with an incredible family.  But before that I lived with a mother that drank too much, had two kids, and no way to take care of them.   

Today I drove by the hospital where I was born.  It’s been almost 31 years since I last saw the place, and though my memory is a little shady, it seems to me it’s changed a bit.  I didn’t intend to drive by; I was just following the GPS on my way to the grocery store.  It caught me off guard, and I slowed down a little, but I didn’t stop.  It’s the same way I interact with my early childhood.

Every now and then I slow down, and think about how things could be different.  How I could have a different family, different friends, and a whole different life.  Mostly I feel relief that I don’t.  Sometimes I feel anger, and other times a longing.  For what, I’m not exactly sure, as it’s elusive and complicated.  I don’t stop to wallow anymore though because it’s just a part of my past that I  know I’ll never be able to fully reconcile with.  I used to spend hours imagining how my life could be different.  How maybe I would have been smarter, or more popular, or prettier if I had grown up with my biological family.  Yes, I know, I was young and disillusioned, and let’s face it, a little dumb.  My mother was an alcoholic, she couldn’t provide the basic necessities of life, let alone the emotional guidance a young girl needs. 

Hindsight is always 20/20.  So many unnecessary tears shed over the whys and ifs.  Why didn’t she try harder?  If she had really loved me, she would have gotten sober, figured out a way to keep me, and my life would have been perfect.  A fairy tale.  You know, “And they lived happily ever after…”

It took living my life to realize that apart from God, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT!  There is only my perfectly imperfect family, my crazy friends, my delightfully rebellious son, and me.  The me that is only here because all of these less than perfect events took place.

So here I sit, not far from where it all started.  My little boy squirming on the couch next to me, asking for help making balls out of “play-play.”  The delicious smells of dinner are finding their way into the living room and outside the window the leaves are blowing around the driveway, playfully enticing us to join them.  While the future remains uncertain, I can still say with confidence that I got my happily ever after, after all.

Dear Rowan,

Thank you for waking me up at 12:30 last night, so we could spend some quality time together.  It was wonderful to spend two hours with you in the middle of the night, listening to you whine about how you wanted to go to the living room and play, and banging on the metal bed frame, so you could hear it echo.  I’m sure all the other people in the house that were actually sleeping last night were glad to hear that you were awake and all was well.

I really appreciate your concern for my sleeping habits.  I understand that sleeping too much can be an indication of mental and physical health issues, so the prevention of sleep that you provide is really just your way of helping me stay healthy.  You can be so thoughtful!

Rowan, let’s just assume that Mommy is healthy and wants a full night’s sleep tonight, and leave it at that.  I understand that the prospect of eight hours away from me can be daunting, I mean, come on, I’m a fun Mom!  Instead of waking me up to inform me that you are up, why don’t you check your email, read a book, write a poem, or just lie there quietly, carefully planning your future.  I don’t think those are unreasonable options.

You are a unique little man, one that doesn’t require much rest, and I respect that about you.  I would just like you to respect that I need a solid eight hours if I am going to operate at full capacity. 

I love you Rowan, and it’s a darn good thing you are cute.  I mean, come on, I’m pretty sure that smile of yours is the main cause of global warming.

Love, Mamma