I was reading in Genesis recently when I came upon something in a verse referring to Sarah, Abraham and their son Issac that I'd never noticed before but that caught my attention now. "The baby grew and was weaned. Abraham threw a big party on the day Isaac was weaned." Genesis 21:8 - The Message. If you have a bible with footnotes or do a little outside research you'll quickly discover that babies in bible times were nursed well into toddlerhood, likely to around age three. I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea that when babe was ready to wean, Dad threw a party! What a great way to both acknowledge the hard work mom has done and to recognize the special relationship that the nursing pair have had.
I didn't think about it again very much until this week. Then I realized a few days ago that Spice hadn't nursed for a solid week. There were two days when she asked but I was doing something else right then that couldn't be put on hold and she never asked again. Also she's developing herself a pretty fantastic set of comfort tools that don't involve "Mama Milkos" now that the new baby is here hogging it up so frequently. I decided that a Genesis 21:8 party would be the perfect marker to take some of the bitter out of that bittersweet milestone for both of us. I mean, people have parties when they say good-bye to diapers and good-bye to binkies, why not a good-bye breastfeeding party to end things on a positive note for both me and my sweet Sugar?
This will be a fairly modest affair, I bought some ice cream and toppings for a sundae party that will either be just us or shared with family or friends this weekend depending on how our rather crazy schedule works out. Maybe by the time baby Sweetness' Genesis 21:8 party rolls around I'll have SurvivorDad a little more on board and he'll join in and do his part in planning the whole shebang but right now he's having a bit of a crazy time at work so just showing support by attending will have to do.
So my challenge, a particularly fitting one given that this is World Breastfeeding Week, is for you other mama's out there with babes nearing the end of the nursing period. I challenge you to either plan for yourself or ask someone to plan for you a Genesis 21:8 party because you deserve it! Whether you met your nursing goals or had to cut your nursing period short, breastfed for 3 months or 3 years, birthed your babe yourself or did the extra hard work of adoptive breastfeeding it should be recognized that you've made the effort to do something pretty fantastic for your little one and shared a bond that can only happen between a mom and their baby.
UPDATE: We ended up taking ice cream and sundae toppings out to Grandma's house to celebrate and made an attempt at watching The Sound of Music for the first time. They loved the ice cream but the movie was a bit of a flop as Grandma's is just to exciting to permit any extended screen time. :) We made a second attempt at the movie during the day later that week and my girlies and I all snuggled up and watched the whole thing with a few breaks for exuberant dancing on the part of the oldest two. The couple times that Sugar has asked about "Mama Milkos" since then I've just reminded her about how she's a big girl now and that we had ice cream with Grandma to celebrate how she's big enough to not need to nurse now and we've moved on painlessly to other topics every time.