I took the girls to the mall in Anderson today after dropping the Hubs off at his truck to go to work. I had to buy a new nose stud because I pulled mine out in the shower washing my face and it went down the drain. So we pulled into the mall, I put Mojo in the sling and we went in for my nose jewelry. After buying the new stud, I noticed that it was time to nurse, so I found a bench off to the side, got Mojo out of the sling because I don't have a lot of luck nurseing her in it (I should practice at home...), whipped on my nurseing cover and settled in. After just a few moments I realized I had chosen the turn around point for the mall-walkers. No problem, I was covered and was not to worried about it. Two older gentlemen, walking at a brisk pace, pointedly avoiding looking in my general direction and a lone, older woman walking considerably slower were making the circut. As the woman made her second pass she caught my eye and stepped closer. I must admit, I thought "Great, here it comes." I have been very lucky that I have had no bad experiences to date with nurseing in public with either baby and figured I was due and I was about to hear I shouldn't be doing "that" here.
"How old is your baby?" she asked.
"9 weeks." I replied, smileing. When in doubt, be likeable.
"I breastfed all my children and it's the best thing you can do." I was so excited! I was all braced for my first "confrontation" and I was getting random act of encouragement.
"Thank you, I think so too." I replied, suddenly overjoyed I had decided to come to the mall this morning.
"You be sure to drink a lot of fluids, it takes it out of ya. Enjoy those girls." She smiled at me, Mojo, and Jiji, who was playing her own version of hopscotch on the pattern of the carpet, and continued walking. Once Mo was fed, burped, and back in the sling, we went to a few more stores then headed home, in a pretty darn good mood! That kind of thing has been typical of my experience. I have never had even a hint of disapproval from anyone about breastfeeding, or gotten comments or evil looks when nurseing in public. I know from stories other mothers have told me I am very lucky in that regard.
A friend of mine commented over the weekend that he was amazed I could enjoy living in a small "narrow-minded" community being the little pagan hippie Mama I am. I replied that my awesomeness can overcome anything, and that's kind of true. I don't expect any trouble...or and pats on the back. I am just living my life the way I want, doing what I feel is right for myself and my family, and just happen to be doing it here because of all the places I have lived this is the place that works for us. I am not throwing my life out there, demanding love what I'm doing or screw you, I do not have a chip on my shoulder, waiting for someone to disagree with me so I can debate why I am right. I just want to make my choices and move along. I want to share my experiences, but only with those who seem interested. I am open, but not shouting from the rooftops. I am approachable, but not preaching why I am right and you should agree. I am, in my opinion, a nice, friendly, helpful person who people like and so when my weirdness comes up, it just tends to be filed away as an eccentricity, rather than a detriment. And so, as I think of that sweet woman who paused her mall-walk to give me an atta-girl about breastfeeding, I will file it away, in gratitude, as one more example that you tend to attract what you put out there, and I try everyday to put out something good. I don't always make it, but I try and based on results I get an A for effort!