Thursday, April 28, 2011


On May 23, 2010, around 6:00 p.m. I nursed my newborn for the first time. Soon, I think, I will nurse him for the last time.

It feels like the scene from the movies, when there's an earthquake or some other tumultuous event that forms a fissure across the ground, often separating two people. What had been one land mass becomes two islands, apart. Your hands stretch out, seeking, but you can't cross the void.

I'm not ready, emotionally. I can't determine if Fletcher is ready. My body has taken the choice away.

Google-provided definitions for "wean" only make it worse.
To gradually deprive infants of mother's milk.

Withdrawing the supply of mother's milk.

To cease to depend on the mother for nourishment.

There are many instances in the life of a mother where it is necessary to metaphorically cut the cord. For me, the first instance was at 5:05 p.m. on May 23, 2010 when it wasn't a metaphor. The second instance will be the moment when Fletcher turns away from my empty breast, much as he did tonight, and then never seeks it again.

When that happens, how long will my futile hands reach across the void? How long will I ache? I think, perhaps, for the rest of my life.

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