And I very rarely cry.
Don't get me wrong. I was excited and am excited about the conference. But buying that ticket a little over a month ago meant that weaning was imminent and certain.
My daughter will be two in September. When she entered our world, she turned my life upside down. In one breathless, beautiful moment that I will never forget...she made her grand entrance...and filled our lives with happiness and love unlike any other. I was mesmerized by her - those rosebud lips, that button nose, those deep blue eyes framed by the longest lashes, her gentle and strong spirit. And I was honored to give her the gift of breastfeeding - to sustain her, to provide nourishment and comfort from my own body. If you have experienced it, then certainly you know what a miracle it is.
Pre-baby, I knew I would breastfeed - "for 6 months or a year," I thought to myself. But 6 months rolled into a year and a year turned into a year-and-a-half. And I realized how short this period was...is. I found that nursing a toddler was actually infinitely sweeter than nursing a baby - the way that she would stroke my cheek with her hand, the little nuances of being together.
I didn't blog about weaning while it was happening. It was too personal - there were too many questions, I wavered between feeling "yes, this is the right time" and "will this change things? will she cry? IS this the right time?"
Now, it's been over a week since she last nursed and it was easier - gentler - sweeter - smoother than I thought it would be. She and I still have this incredible bond. We still share stories and songs at bedtime. She still drifts off to sleep curled up beside me or on my chest. We still go on long walks and draw pictures and "race" each other in the living room. She still runs to me when she's afraid or hesitant. Our connection remains just as strong as ever. Weaning was just one more step in the gradual transformation process. She is a little girl - a compassionate, smart, gorgeous little girl with the sweetest spirit. And I am so proud to be her mommy.
I can't say that being away will be easy now that weaning is complete (I've never left my daughter overnight. In fact, I've never even missed her bedtime...), but I feel better about it now. I know that she and her daddy will have an unbelievably fun time together. I also know that I will be skyping her every night to see her little face and that I will be beyond excited to get on that return flight on Sunday morning. A mama can only take so much "apartness."