Last week, my daughter and I lay together and wrote the last sentence of a sacred chapter in my mothering story. Without any sense of occasion, I nursed her to sleep for the very last time.
When she woke before dawn expecting to slip back into our routine, I was sad but resolved. Watching your baby get lost in the delirium of a being weaned against her will is its own unique kind of torture.
This must be doing irreparable harm, I worried. I was withholding mother love and sustenance and introducing her to a cruel world of deprivation and lack.
Less than a week later, I realize that I was in my own state of dramatic delirium. She did recover and she did it fast. Now, when my 25-month-old wakes from a nap she asks for a snuggle and a book. With a child’s gift of living in the present moment she has adjusted and found a new way to connect with me and with her world.
Yes, stories change lives, but, even more importantly, stories hold us when life changes
In this midst of this very personal transition, I have been busily crafting my new online course and outlining webinars and fussing over Facebook ads. I’ve been immersing myself in entrepreneurship. All this work is a worthy way to support the family, of course, but it’s also been a handy place to hide from grief.
Only today, when I sat outside with a cup of tea and my journal to draft this story, did the tears start to flow. Great, heaving sobs echoed off my neighbor’s house, but I didn’t care. The sorrow caught up with me as I realized my body would never be called to mother someone in the same way again.
My breasts have nourished and nurtured two children and, since we do not plan to have any more children, their work is done. I am mourning this ending, but I am also humbled and grateful. Because I paused to write this story, I was able to feel all the feelings and heal the wounds left by this rite of passage.
I can see that there’s no accident in the timing of all this. The new beginning can be as exciting as the ending is sorrowful. Freed from having someone depend on me at such a visceral, physical level, I am able to reallocate that energy and serve the world in a different way. My mothering commitments are every bit as intense, but I know that energy has a way of shifting and amplifying in ways that stretch time.
Now that I’m no longer performing the magic act of making milk, I can help more people practice the alchemy of turning ideas and dreams into stories that matter.
In April I’m launching my first writing and storytelling course, Tell Stories that Matter: Create Online Content that Your Readers Care about. Please click below get on the interest list to get VIP perks and special pricing.