This afternoon after a long day of running holiday-related errands, Lavender had had about enough of that nonsense and was ready to call it quits. She wanted to be away from the people and the noise. She wanted to cuddle. She wanted to nurse. She wanted time with just me.
As we sat in the peace of our own home at last, nursing in the glow of Christmas lights, I gazed down at my blissful child and realized suddenly, painfully, that a day is coming soon when this will not be enough to make her happy. She will need more than what I am and what I can give, which is as it should be. Still, the impermanence of our quiet moment together was almost heartbreaking. She will grow, and I will have to count on others to be gentle with her heart and to nurture her sweet spirit. She will want to be apart from me, to go out into the big, uncertain world with desires that neither I, nor perhaps anyone, can fulfill. And I will let her go. How can I do that? How can I not?
Little Lavender, today you are happy just to be held. You only need what I can offer, and so your contentment is whole and complete. Here in our quiet house, nursing and rocking and breathing together, you are not thinking of anything more. You don't know that this will change. Someday you will not drink my milk. You will not want to pet my skin. You will pull away, and consciously you will forget ever having wanted those things. It is a loss-- an aching loss-- that only I will feel.
It will have to be enough, then, for me to remember days like today when you are big and far away. You will be so strong and independent that it will be hard to imagine that you ever fit in my arms, but still I will know that today was real. It happened, and nothing can erase it. You will not always feel the whole, complete contentment you feel now, but it will be there just the same. It will be a part of how you grew, of how you came to know the world. It is a memory I will never let go. And a part of us will forever be nursing, rocking and breathing.