I really don’t like it when people stand over me while I nurse. It’s the bride phenomenon all over again. Did I write about this already? At my wedding it was as if I was moving in a force field. Everyone stood a few feet back from me, staring and grinning, and I felt their love and excitement, but also wanted to remind them, “You can still talk to me.” The force field is back, and stronger. Sometimes it’s because people don’t want to come too near the open boob. This I can respect even though it’s still irritating. But I think it’s something else too.
I feel like I’m being nudged to the periphery. I know I’m still loved, but am I now also inconvenient? Perhaps it’s a speed thing. I don’t have any. We are a slow moving unit, the boy and I. We can’t keep appointments. We can’t work the crowd at the picnic. It’s creature comforts now. Eating. Sleeping. Staring at the leaves on trees. He, and thus we, don’t go anywhere if he’s tired or grumpy or upset. The feelings must be dealt with, can’t be shunted aside for the sake of a schedule. He, and thus we, don’t conform to the world at all. We move at the pace of need. It is indeed the great simplification. And yes, it’s freeing, but it can also be lonely.
At that picnic gathering I noticed the re-grouping; the mothers and children in one area and everyone else simply someplace else. This is what people talk about with this country; we segregate our mamas and children. We just don’t seem to be good at multi-generation living and I always preached about how it would be different with me when I had a kid but now I’m seeing that it’s not only up to me.
In the first two weeks everyone wanted to come and we wanted very few because in those days the color of the green leaves were electric against the blue sky and set me buzzing with joy, but also everything was charged and everything saturated and in that state of being a simple conversation could use an entire day’s worth of energy. And so we nestled into our cocoon of three and put off visits. But now I’m and craving that company and B. says just ask for it and I’m trying but am surprised by this feeling of distance.
My friend said that when I’m nursing it can be intimidating. In part because it appears so intimate. I suppose it is. (I don’t think I’ll ever forget one moonlit night in the first week when I was in the rocking chair by the window just looking at his face and weeping.) But it’s also been made mundane by the sheer number of hours, and I spend enough time doing it alone to want the company. As i’m writing this I know that I did this too, with the first round of friends to have kids. Saw them settle with their babes, and then shifted away because I didn’t know where to place myself in relation to them.
But now that it’s me I don’t want to be moated off from the world. I suppose it’s time to get a lot more vocal, and begin to send out invitations into this new land of ours.