Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Distance, not speed.

I am a walker, not a runner. Distance, not speed.

This is true of me both literally, and figuratively, though I am known to be quick to excite, anger, or fall.... in love, or otherwise.

I believe in the long haul, and that human suffering is just a part of it. Life (while lovely and a gift to be sure) is hard sometimes. Not a torment always, but not necessarily convenient or fitting the definitions of what's easy or popular in terms of how we live it out.

The application of this idea fits multiple areas, including that of nursing. Extended nursing in particular. Yes, I still nurse my three year old. Not all that often anymore, and not for long. And I sense that we near the end of this part of our interconnected mother / child twining. Though it has been a blessing for us, our nursing relationship. After 30 hours of labor and an emergency C section, an infected incision site, and near death and life saving surgery of my baby as a 7 week old, that our nursing relationship fit so right was a boon. We really needed something to go right and that the latch needed minimal tweaking was a delight, and that his high (feasty / feisty) needs were met with comfort and nurture at the breast early and often kept us some kind of balanced.

And even now, when nursing isn't so much about nourishment as it is about nurture (oh, I know all the stuff folks say about preschoolers and self soothing and how it's something he's GOT to learn yesterday) I think that nursing is a wonderfully effective parenting tool, and a great comfort. Though I live in a city where there are more churches per square mile than in any other state in the nation, and folks talk about Jesus being the Comforter, and about their intimate relationship with God, I understand (though find it odd) that a large number of folks are off-put by the comfort and intimacy of a nursling pair, particularly when both halves of this pair talk.

Distance, not speed. And that is why my son could tell me today, "Whenever I nap or go to sleep at night, I want to nurse. And when I nurse, I feel the warm glow in my tummy. And that's why I want to nurse."

Me? I think that's beautiful. And it doesn't scare me at all.

I feel confident that this distance not speed style of life will equip my boy to be a man capable of tenderness and the ability to give it legs, AND voice.

I am thankful.


  1. Anonymous9:23 PM

    beautifully writ.

  2. thank you, dear old friend. look, oh just LOOK, at how our babies have grown in the last two and a half years.... i remember this day as if it were a month ago. he learned to walk in your newly emptied house! your girls were precious and kind and encouraging, pulling him about in a wagon and offering a hand for steady guidance.

  3. Anonymous8:59 AM

    yesterday, we went on a field trip to WTCI Studios (our local PBS station). the girls and one of their friends got to shoot a promo for the station....very exciting for them! :) afterward, they were invited to visit the free library at the station, and choose a book to take home. both girls went into the picture book section, which surprised me. they chose their books: "Owl Moon" and "An Extraordinary Egg".
    "those looks like great reads", i said to them. "they're for Olen! do you think he'll like them?" it made me smile to think of them carefully choosing a book for him...their honorary little brother.