Breastfeeding for Thought
In our last episode on solo dining, guest Keff argued that meal-taking is an inherently social activity. We break bread together, and always have. I pointed out that, “You keep referring to communal dining as a fundamental thing we’re kind of bred to do, but I don’t know that that’s true. I mean, really we’re eating alone from day one: a baby nurses on its own.” You can hear Keff’s response to that in the episode, but I thought it was worth sharing a reaction from a listener, who also happens to be my mother.
Anne Bainbridge: “I knew when we were talking about this podcast that there was something on the edge of my thinking… It is the comment made by one of the women speakers about eating alone; she said babies nursing are eating alone, or some such thing. She could not be more wrong about that! There is no ‘meal’ more intimate or shared than this one. This is sharing at the very soul of the word, and it is a two-way street. It provides the deepest bonding of any. This is one experience that has made me very, very grateful to be a woman and a mother. Just saying.”
Me: “That woman was me! And I was right, in a way: it’s a shared experience, yes, but not a shared meal. The mother is not eating.”
AB: “A meal offered, given, received, is shared. Technical stuff goes out the window here.”
Me: “It’s an interesting perspective worth hearing–and sharing. I also think the technical perspective should be considered in this particular case.”
AB: “Why? It’s outside technology or measurements. And I applaud that there are still these slightly mystical parts of human connections that cannot be quantified, pinned down, or even explained very well in scientific terms.”
“It is connected with the fact that I knew, just knew, in the midst of the last ice storm, that the daffies were pushing up, though we could not see them then. It was in the light and the smell of the air and earth. I cannot explain this, and I’m not sure I really want or need to. But I am right, every spring, about this timing.”
“Isn’t it a good and inspiring thing that we do not know so very many answers?”
Just breastfeeding for thought. Mothers (and others), please do share yours.