Some hoopla was raised when a picture of Maggie Gyllenhaal surfaced earlier this week - her breast bare, nursing her daughter, Ramona.
The emotional reactions were all over the place. There is a movement afoot, and the lines are being drawn.
It all seems silly to me. I, for one, am quite familiar with Maggie's boobs. I saw them in all their free-range glory on the big screen. And as for breastfeeding in public, I've done it. It wasn't a statement or a political move. I had babies and I wasn't under house arrest. I 'practiced' this nonstop feeding with modesty, because that was how I was raised and how I felt comfortable. But I never hid in a bathroom stall, straddling the pot, in fear of offending someone.
Zack was a newborn when I started attending yet another church on my way to finding my religion again. Lexi settled into the preschool room with ease and I discovered they had a room for mothers with babies located on the side of the sanctuary. I thought this was brilliant. The room was empty and Zack was fussing and ready to eat. I settled in behind the two-way mirror, and preceded to set Zack up, without feeling the need to rustle behind a blanket. Once, he was comfortable, I looked up and noticed some congregants were not just looking my direction, but staring right at me. I quickly realized that the window was simply shaded; I had just whipped it out in front of the devout. The door opened moments later and I was served my directions to the nursing mothers' room, with a side of shame.
I imagine I got mentioned over lunch.
I tried to laugh it off, and I did. It was funny. I could laugh because in a world full of real problems and real suffering, all this drama over how we feed our kids seems like a distraction, keeping us from substantive conversations.
And I want to fill my plate with things that matter. I want my kids to move past the breast, the belly and long for something more.
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