It seems that the only time Little Elephant is ever still anymore is when she is asleep and when she is nursing. To be honest, this lack of slowing down for just about anything has been true since the moment she figured out how to move. Conversations and instructions and even often feeding happen while she is on the go. She is just always go, go, going!
The downtime we have 5-7 times a day together, is invaluable to me. Not only am I passing on my immune system, helping her grow strong and healthy, and sharing special Mama-daughter bonding, I am also able to inundate her with all the messaging I want her to hear. I use the time to ramble. To reinforce. To explain. To laud. To love. Her nursing sessions are sponsored by commercials from Mama’s mouth about all the things this girl can be.
I tell her she is smart. She is strong. She is thoughtful and kind. I tell her she is independent, opinionated, and outspoken and that ALL of these things are good, no matter what anyone else says to the contrary. I tell her she knows her heart and she should follow it. Always. I tell her that she is beautiful. That she is special. I tell her that most of all she is loved.
I remind her that it is okay to make mistakes; that no matter what, her Mama loves her. I tell her to try things she isn’t sure about, as long as she is true to herself. I tell her that no matter who she becomes, or what she believes, or who she loves, or where she lives, or what she does or doesn’t do, her Mama will always always love her.
I tell her that love is unconditional. I tell her that she is intelligent and can be anything she wants. I tell her she has a wonderful sense of humor. I tell her she doesn’t need to be perfect, she just needs to be herself.
I tell her all these things, I repeat them over and over as she nurses. Meanwhile, in my agnostic heart, I pray that these seedlings of ideas are being planted so deep within her core that they will not be washed away by societies propaganda, that future friends won’t be able to push them aside. I pray that they are taking root so deep, that when she needs to believe in herself, my words will be ever present. I pray that the world doesn’t break the beautiful little girl in my arms.