Our 6 year old climbs into bed with us almost every single night of the week. He starts out sleeping right across the hall from us in his own bed, then between 12 and 3 am he comes crawling in, claiming to have heard a strange noise, or have seen a weird bug, or because of some nightmare or other.
I don't mind. I love it when he snuggles up next to me, all cuddly and soft. I breathe in the smell of his soft hair, and kiss what's left of his baby-fat cheeks. He snuggles in deep, and relaxes completely, safe in the arms his mother or father.
I am so glad that our children feel safe with us; that whenever they feel scared, hurt, alone, or sick, they know that we will take care of them. They know that they always have a place in our King size bed, no matter how crowded it gets. And believe me, it gets a little crowded some nights, with my toddler taking up most of the space on the right-hand side.
Jonah is going on 2 1/2 years old, and showing no signs of wanting to give up his milkies. This will be the longest I have ever nursed one of our children. He wakes me up a couple times a night with his soft voice, and his squirmy body, crying out, "Milk- milk. Milk-milk."
I don't mind. I love it when he snuggles up next to me, all cuddly and soft. I breathe in the smell of his soft hair, and kiss, kiss, kiss his baby-fat cheeks. He snuggles in deep, and relaxes completely, safe in the arms of his mother.
I held a toddler-nursing meeting at my house this month for LLL, and it was wonderful. It was wonderful to connect with other moms who are also nursing their toddlers, and wonderful to know that we live in a generation where women are making choices based on what feels natural, instinctual, and right, not what's been mainstreamed into our culture. Women these days are taking an honest look at their children and their relationships with their children, and making decisions based on that. There are no rules, there are no arbitrary dates to follow, there are no comparisons or judgments being made; just you and your baby, and what you decide is best. Call it feminism, call it crunchy, call it Attachment Parenting: label it whatever you want, but in the end it's the beautiful relationship based on love and trust between mother and child, that matters.
Pretty soon these babies will be 6, and the days and nights of nursing will most likely be completely over. I continuously remind myself that they will only be this small once, so to cherish those middle-of-the-night snuggles, those squirmy kicks in the gut, and those soft cries for num-nums. After all, when he is 6, and is too scared to fall asleep by himself, he will remember that he has always been safe in his Mama's arms.