September 23, 2010

the age of innocence

age of innocence

This morning Ivy was playing with 'Coon and smiled as wide as her cheeks would reach, "he likes nah nap" and she pretend-nursed her stuffed raccoon and was delighted.

It made me so happy because the innocence was so overwhelming, so good. So natural. It filled the room.

And I suddenly thought, dear God please don't let anyone- adult or child- ever shame her if she pulls up her shirt to breastfeed a doll (or sometimes a tall block of Legos, or a tea cup) if I'm not around.


She's two, but already I can sense that tug of what is naturally right and what is society-perceived right. And am anxious, sick! at the thought that someone's words, or pierce of a judging eye, could tarnish her virtuous intentions.


This is all she knows, and whether she is nursing a toy or in twenty years nursing a real live baby, I want her to always feel that inborn connection, and to never feel shame for doing something so natural. And so right.


40 comments:

  1. wow. how sweet of her. and i too hope that no one ever judges her for that either.

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  2. This is beautiful. Thanks for posting this. I would feel the same way if I had a little girl. :)

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  3. Goodness she just keeps getting sweeter! I pray this for her and my little one too.

    Thanks,
    Heidi

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  4. I say that prayer for my daughters too. What a precious photo.

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  5. This is perfect and beautiful. Just yesterday, I had two people at work turn to me horrified and say, Are you STILL nursing? As if I'd said that I was throwing Tommy down the stairs. It made me feel awful, not because I'm still nursing, but because of course I'm still nursing. He's only 14 months and how dare they act as if I'm doing him wrong.

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  6. Those are moments to treasure and an important prayer. Sweet picture.

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  7. such a sweet picture. i love when my kids do that, too!

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  8. Oh, precious Ivy! And I SO feel you on this one.

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  9. I love this post because for all of the facts, the science, there is something that convinces more than any thing else: a life well lived. It's that way with so much of what we believe. It's not a life of apologetics (breastfeeding or otherwise) that inspires. It's showing a better way, a way without shame, with naturalness and love. This convinces more than any WHO or UN edict.

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  10. I'm with you. How I wish we could always preserve their innocence, their childlike wonder, and their unabashed authenticity. I never realized my job would be so "mama bear" like in stepping up time and again to protect the way I want my child to live.....even in the church nursery.

    If it's any encouragement, I was still asking my mom to borrow the pompoms from her crafting supply cabinet so I could stuff my shirt and nurse my baby doll when I was 10. The pastor's daughter from our church would come over on a Sunday afternoon, and we'd take care of our babies in the formal living room my family never used and pretend to be ever so exhausted caring for our wee ones. And I was still setting up housekeeping and playing the "Boxcar Children" (long before the series had been made out of the one original book) until I was in junior high. Kids today give up toys earlier in favor of electronic games, computers, tv, and cell phones, but I think it's still possible to keep a child a child with just a little bit of intentionality.

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  11. Abso-freakin-lutely. Do you know I nursed my baby dolls when I was little, too? But my mother couldn't nurse me, she didn't produce enough milk. Yet, I, this little teeny tiny child, instinctively knew what nursing was and how to do it.

    Go Ivy!

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  12. Oh yes....*sigh* I so hope she doesn't get ridiculed either. Or my daughter. I pray that in the future, no one will ever be judged for this choice!

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  13. This makes me so happy. I wish society didn't taint our children so early...innocence is a rare thing these days. I used to work with kids who knew more about certain 'things' than I ever knew at that age!! It's ridiculous what the media and society tries to put into our childrens' heads.

    Keep her innocent for as long as possible, Steph!

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  14. It's not just the nursing. It's so much. I love my children's innocence and sweetness. I hate that it will eventually be muted by evil.

    It's part of the reason I treasure these little ones while they are little and do what I can (and what is wise) to maintain their purity of heart.

    Someday, they will need to be shrewd as snakes.

    For now, they are as innocent as doves.

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  15. I love that she nurses legos! So sweet and pure.

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  16. Oh, I just love this. I had such similar thoughts as my 2 year old son wore his baby doll in a sling all around town yesterday. I never want him to be shamed into thinking nurturing isn't manly.

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  17. love this. audrey has been nursing her babies a lot recently too, since we have baby #2 due anyday pretty much we talk about nursing all the time--in fact, i just wrote about her nursing hello kitty at build-a-bear the other day. i loved it and it made me smile, but the i could tell the worker thought i was strange. it was quite sad.

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  18. so so sweet! I still get the disapproved silence when I say I still breastfeed my 20 month old....'ve had a suggestion today that he just uses my breast as a sucker- sigh - true he does at one point but at first he always drinks :)

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  19. I love this post! I'd never really thought about it, but my daughter (now 4 yo) has 2 younger siblings who have been exclusively breastfed. She's started playing with bottles b/c her friends do, but I do pray that no one ever discourages her or makes fun of her if she nurses her "babies"!

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  20. What a sweetie! I understand completely. I've had people that I consider to be close to make me feel that nursing after six months, 9 months, a year {fill in the blank}, is somehow strange. I feel more comfortable talking about it now, but I was almost embarassed to admit that I still nursed Makenna when she was two. Now I'm embarassed that I was embarassed.

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  21. Feel the same way with my girls :)

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  22. Adorable!

    This is how I feel about my [future] children. It's hard to know that there will only be two of us parents, and there will soon be a large number of friends and relatives they get their socialization from.

    Mostly I've been thinking about a blog post in which a woman talked about how she thinks her young son is gay, he wears her lip gloss, wanted to marry another boy playing the game of life, etc. And I thought, my husband's relatives are sure to tell my kids that boys need to play with trucks and girls need to play with dolls ... or something like that. I can honestly see them taking a doll away from a young boy, or laughing at him (shaming him) about it, and it just makes me sick.

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  23. I really I've been reading your blog for a little while and I've truly been enjoying it. I'm a cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing new mom. You're blog is inspiring.. it has actually inspired me to start blogging again. Thanks for sharing moments like these.

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  24. it might happen, and it makes me feel so gross and sad. Right now, I'm breastfeeding Gage, who is 10 months old, and it's the longest I've ever lasted. But I can't see this stopping any time soon.

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  25. Love it. My oldest son "breastfeeds" his toys too. Dolls, dinosaurs, anything with a mouth. The other day I caught him trying to pump his little brothers boobies too. It makes me giggle but it is so sweet.

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  26. our oldest love nursing her dolls and she will ask me to nurse her sister when she cries, it's so cute!

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  27. My little girlie used to breastfeed Larry The Cucumber. I know exactly what you mean.

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  28. love. one of my boys (at that age) would pretend to nurse, too. It really is a sweet sight.

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  29. Beautiful picture, beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing this story... I hope for a world where women aren't judged negatively for breastfeeding!

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  30. The cutest thins that little girls do (IMHO) is pretend the breastfeed their dolls. It's so genuine, and so stinkin' adorable :)

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  31. Oh gosh, I feel that same incessant tug in my gut.. that worrying that someone will say something awful to my child and shame her for being her. I know I felt that way when I was young and I hope she'll always have the strength to be herself, to be true and to be brave & wonderful and everything that makes her HER. Phew. My gosh I love her.

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  32. absolutelly right there with you.

    hugs from Brazil

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  33. I know exactly how you feel. My son is 22 months, and I love catching those moments, when he plays with his dolls, or pretends to cook, or puts on his princess crown and dances. The anxiety that threatens to overwhelm me, when I contemplate the fact that somewhere, sometime, some stranger (or family, even)could come along and completely shatter that innocence, with a single laugh or ill-begotten word...it just undoes me.

    Ivy is so lucky, so blessedly lucky, to have a mom like you, who will accept the person she's becoming without conditions.

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  34. Thank you for sharing. It's sad that so much of our society is pushing away from what is natural, normal, and healthy for our children.

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  35. How wonderful! I know your feeling, and also trust that with continued positive life-living influence from you, although the day (sadly) WILL come when someone raises an eyebrow or worse at her breastfeeding (be it a toy or in 20 years)... hopefully your energy and emphasis on the beauty of nature will be deeply instilled enough in her that she turns away unfazed.

    All the best!

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  36. My son nurses his dolls :) I love it!

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  37. My son did this around 2 years old with his stuffed animals and I felt the same way. I didn't want anyone to shame him because he's a boy and it isn't biologically possible. All I can think when I see him is -- wow, there's a girl out there somewhere who is going to be so lucky to have him as her husband and support her if she chooses to breastfeed.

    jenny@mamanash.com

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  38. your Ivy looks like my Rilla. i wrote a bit about this same thing a few posts back. it blesses me to read it on another mama's blog. thank you for sharing this!!

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  39. Steph, if that ever were to happen, you would have a very rare opportunity on your hands...you write THIS blog. THIS blog is your truth, your life, your feelings and thoughts and emotions in real time. teachers and parents and friends and strangers may have words to say when kids do their kid things...but all they would need to do is read your lifelog here and see where Ivy gets her pure curiosity from. not many families have that to refer to in times like that :)

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