Friday, August 2, 2013

Breastfeeding - A Non-Issue

My dad comes from a big family. This means, I, too, come from a big family. I have one brother, three half-sisters, and three step-siblings. My dad is one of six. My paternal grandma has twenty-one grandkids (spanning the ages of 39 to 7) and nine great-grandkids so far (with, obviously, many more to come given the young ages of most of my cousins). And we all love to get together. We spend holidays together, hang out at the beach together, and go on vacations together. Recently, we went to my dad's lake cabin. And despite my reservations about spending that time with my dad (click here to see that blog post), I never once worried about breastfeeding nearly three year old Zen Son.

I never saw any of my aunts or my step-mom breastfeed in all my years. I knew it happened, but it was either in another room or I was off doing my own thing when it happened. I never witnessed breastfeeding even though all those women were doing it with all their kids. Strange, looking back, but not really the point of this post. The point is - there was a whole lot of breastmilk flowing freely from the females in the family to the mouths of the many babes.

As such, nobody has any issue with it. It's a complete non-issue, as it should be. It's not something special. It's just the norm. It's not "best," it just is. And though none of them breastfed for nearly as long as I have or will continue to, it's still standard operating procedure. Thus, as I breastfed Zen Son in the middle of the living room floor, my uncles, aunts, sisters, cousins, step-mom, and dad would all come in and chat with me, lay down on the floor with me, stroke my son's hair and just *be* with us. Not a one of them even flinched as my boob came out during games, as my nipple was bare here and there, as my son groped my other breast, surely exposing it from time to time. And not a one of them looked away uncomfortably or avoided us. As I said, it was a non-issue.

And as much as I already love my family, this non-issue caused me to fall even deeper in love with them all. They didn't have to do anything, in fact, that they did nothing was what caused my heart to nearly explode.

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