Monday, August 27, 2007

Love Bites

I'll tell you about nursing a 9 1/2 month old baby with 5 teeth. It bites. And even when it doesn't bite, it has a certain stoic take-it-like-a-man quality that I never thought I'd associate with the exquisitely feminine act of nursing my infant son.

It brings to mind the end of a long and happy relationship. You know, when you start to push each other away by inflicting a million little wounds, lessening the larger pain by beginning the act of separating before the real separation has begun.

I've been thinking recently about a ritual for weaning. Something not too new-agey or out-there, something just for my son and me, to privately say goodbye to this first important relationship that we have shared. To mourn it a little, and to help me celebrate it as a new beginning.

Here are just a few of the sources that I think I'll consider as I create something with personal meaning for us.

My Jewish Learning: A Jewish Weaning Ceremony

Ritualwell: A Weaning Ceremony for Joshua Ruben and Eli Nathaniel and for Me

These ceremonies include both mothers and fathers, but I think that for me, this ritual will definitely be Ima-only.

Abba got to cut the baby loose at birth. This time it's all mine.

And besides, it's an Ima thing...he wouldn't understand.


mother in israel said...

Did you wean already? Because you can overcome the teeth problem, if you want.

Ima Shalom said...

I didn't, and I'm definitely researching how to overcome it, but it just kind of fortells the beginning of the end for me. That is the stopping at 12 mos is beginning to seem wise, rather than culturally restrictive.