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A Letter to My Daughter

February 8, 2010

On January 24, 2010, I snuggled Ainsley extra close to me during her bedtime nursing, soaking in the warmth, the breaths, the closeness. I knew it would be the last time we would share this special moment. The time to stop breastfeeding had come. We had cut out all her nursing sessions but the one at bedtime. Now she was sleeping through the night, and I knew she was ready to go to bed without nursing.

The next night, two days shy of her 17-month birthday, I put her to bed without a nighttime nursing. There were many tears, but not from Ainsley. This is the entry from my journal on that night.

*********

January 25, 2010

Today was the first day in (nearly) 17 months that you didn’t nurse. The first day in your life without breastmilk. My first time since becoming a mother that I didn’t nestle you to my breast and hold you in my arms, cradled, comforted, nourished.

I love you, baby girl. I will always miss the moments we shared. I will always treasure your breath against my skin and the way we would look into each others’ eyes. You are such a big girl now. Such a daring and confident little individual. When you need to snuggle or read or take my finger to explore something new, I will be there, ready to learn with you.

Darling girl. Punkin’ Head. Ainsley Roo. Ruthie Girl. Big sister. Firstborn.

Someday you may hold your own little one close, draw her to your breast, and I will be so proud of you for the woman you’ve become.

But you will always be my baby. Always my Ainsley Ruth.

Mama loves you.

*******

(This post is part of the Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge at Steady Mom. Also part of Kerry’s Feb. ’10 “I love…” for February 9.)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 7:09 am

    This is really beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this. As my daughter approaches her first birthday, I have been thinking about weaning being somewhere in our future. Funny how that “one year” mark hangs out there. My son only made it for 10 1/2 months until he was done with nursing. I have no plans to wean at a year, but I find myself wondering how our nursing relationship will change in the coming months and when it might end. Nora will most likely be our last baby and I am holding on to as much babyness as possible. I have a feeling that when we are done nursing, I will most likely feel just the way you did.

  2. February 9, 2010 8:05 am

    Oh Amanda . . . I remember the day I tried to nurse Anna (a little younger than Ainsley is now) and she turned away from me and refused. Growing up is hard on everyone!
    Blessings,
    Shana

  3. February 9, 2010 2:05 pm

    I love that you captured this moment in your journal/blog. They do grow up so quickly (my youngest will be 5 in June) and as much as I wanted them to be bigger (out of the baby phase), now I wish I could pause and turn back time to savor their baby moments.

    Thanks for coming by my blog.

  4. February 9, 2010 4:11 pm

    what a sweet post. I’m nursing my last baby right now, he’s only 3 months so we have a ways to go. but knowing he’s my last I already know this is going to be really hard for me. It’s so bittersweet watching our babies grow up.

  5. February 9, 2010 7:18 pm

    Oh, how bittersweet… I remember that time with our first, and you capture it beautifully in your letter. Thanks for sharing that sweet note.

  6. February 9, 2010 9:30 pm

    Oh the trouble with parenting is while we are wandering through it, it is dashing past us. Beautiful post…

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