World Breastfeeding Week

This past week has marked the annual celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. Spread across the internet have been posts and articles from breastfeeding mamas. Their struggles and their joys have been out there to encourage each other and future mothers in their breastfeeding journeys. It is an amazing use of the internet and social media and I love seeing every single photo and story.

My own personal nursing stories are long and winding and intertwined. Some chapters have been public and some have been kept private. They have spanned over eight years and will likely be drawing to a close in the very near future.

As the years passed my nursing relationships evolved- from including others, (doctors, friends, lactation consultants, Papa) to being just between the two of us. Our practices changed as our needs changed. This growth has been as organic as life itself. Nursing has ebbed and flowed from one daughter to the next and from one stage onto another. The years and the moments have blurred, but the experience is as crisp as on the very first day.

Stories of long term breastfeeding seem few and far between, but I suspect there are more of us out there than it would appear. By year three it is so second nature and so much a part of any given day that it becomes unnecessary to talk much about it, I suppose. For us, the necessity of nursing in public or even outside home, is so rare that the topic has rarely come up in the past few years.

Having seen so many mothers sharing their photos this week I have been led to post this one I snapped last week. I share it to add to the growing collection of images and experiences that show the wide variety of normal breastfeeding. I hope that it helps to broaden that definition of normal.

Sketching

Where is the best place to make art?

On Greek Revival steps at the base of the Bunker Hill Monument?

By the glow of the dim emergency lights during the Charlestown Naval Yard’s introduction video?

In the shadow of an old photograph of an even older warship?

Or is it all of the above?

We never know when the need to sketch will strike. Today the need seemed to arise every time we paused for even a moment during our visit to Boston.

Were they drawing sketches of the historic sites we were visiting? Making architectural sketches or maps? Not today. Their interests leaned more towards dress designs and cartoon cats.

Art has the power to be a conduit for connection- between individuals, between cultures and between disciplines. The practice of creating is often art itself. The girls were soaking in their surroundings, putting their ideas and visions onto paper and making a physical/kinetic connection between the sites we visited and the drawings they created.

Where is the best place to make art?

Wherever you are.

A Kayak Adventure

We kayaked across the south end of Katama Bay this afternoon as Catherine went out solo in her kayak for the first time!

She paddled steady, kept her eye on the destination point of reference and easily made it across to the beach and back. What a kid!

The Swimming Gene

Here’s Catherine in her happiest of happy places, face down in the ocean with her mask and snorkel. I don’t think she lifted her head for a good 15 minutes at least!

“Mama, I think that I got the ‘liking swimming’ gene from you. And you must have gotten it from Grandpa.” This girl sure knows her biology!

Ye Haw, Elsa!

Halloween in July!

(As if these Salem girls don’t have enough Halloween in their year!)

They played spooky games, ate ‘spiders’, went trick or treating and then Catherine rode off into the sunset on Golden Amber. What a night.

Ghost Writer

We have been so, so fortunate to have had many days in a row of perfect, summer, beach weather! After the winter we just had, you can be sure that we have been taking full advantage of these lovely days!

Today, though, when the girls and I were discussing our plans, they asked if we couldn’t have a “home day”. I wrestled with myself a little bit- home days tend to have a little more tv in them than I’d like and I usually end up cleaning up scads of art projects gone amiss.. but the three of us did need a day out of the sun, so, in the end, we stayed home.

This week at the library, I stumbled across a dvd collection of Ghost Writer episodes. They were instantly checked out as I floated home surround by a cloud of nostalgia. I popped the first dvd in this morning, not knowing that the house would soon be filled with Ghost Writer hysteria!

Posters were made and Ghost Writer fan pennants were crafted and taped to colored pencils to wave around. Esme practiced her new reading skills with every new note on the screen and Catherine set to work making keys and writing notes in code. When doing things in another room I was visited frequently and given detailed updates on the plots and the clues the kids were using to solve their mysteries. Plans were made for the forming of a potential Ghost Writer fan club. Episode after episode after episode was eagerly consumed.

I had hoped they would enjoy it, as I did, but I hadn’t expected their all consuming enthusiasm for a twenty four year old* PBS show. It was all just to fantastic! In a world where kids tv shows with diverse, smart, girls and boys are hard to find, I’m glad that this one can stand the test of time…mostly!

The girls are in bed now, but they changed into their pjs talking about GW and I’m sure it will be the first thing they want to do in the morning. They may have spent a huge part of today watching tv, but they used their minds and talents creatively, made connections, practiced new and old skills and were thoroughly entertained. Win, win, win, win, win.

*Catherine did note, “This show must be pretty old. I can tell because of all the old fashioned things.” So, true, Catherine. And you didn’t even mention the wardrobes!