Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunshine and Shadows

This morning I went to a workshop at the Early Years Centre about deciding whether to wean when I return to work. Which meant that Swee'pea and I were outside strolling the streets with my new camera by 9:39 a.m. It was such a treat to be outside this morning. I want to say it was mild, temperature-wise, but it's hard to describe this morning as mild when the sunshine was so bright and blazing after the week of constant dim, grey dreariness, and the sky was so blue and the few clouds so... I don't know white and cloudy. It was a joy to see real, stark shadows, and I got a little carried away with my camera and the way the sun shone on bricks, and windows sills and how the buildings and bicycles cast their shapes onto other buildings and roads. I caught (what I presume are young student) firefighters practicing their hose handling.

And I had fun thinking about possible titles or captions for these images... morning showers, morning practice, hose handling... I think my favourite so far is Morning Glory.

I walked past a group of teenagers in St. George's Square, sitting on a bench by the fountain, and I would have loved to have taken their photo. The one on the end was all in black and was sitting on the arm of the bench with his feet on the seat, and he was strumming a guitar. You could see his head and the handle of his guitar in the shadow he cast on the concrete behind him. In the middle was a kid with a red mohawk (I love teenagers with mohawks! I just want to pinch their angry little cheeks). Mostly It was about the sun on their faces and the shadows behind them and to their left. But I chickened out. I knew to get the shot I wanted it'd be pretty obvious I was taking their picture, and I didn't really want to ask their permission. I tried that when I was in SA with unsuccessful results. People change when they know a camera is looking, they close up or ham it up. Ah well, I'll just add it to the list in my head of missed photographic opportunities.

The workshop wasn't bad. I was kind of hoping that it would give me a bit more guidance, with specific reasons for weaning or not weaning. But the lactaction consultant really didn't want to advocate. She just wanted to tell us about things we should consider, strategies for weaning, and different options along the spectrum of weaning or breastfeeding, that it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. Some things I found interesting:

  • The benefits of breastfeeding outweight the hazards of smoking, so that, all things equal, it's better to breastfeed if you're a smoking mom than it is to feed formula. Apparently there is also evidence that our bodies have some capacity for filtering toxins out of our breastmilk. The biggest risk for your children if you smoke is the second-hand smoke.
  • Anthropologists believe that the average age for (child-led) weaning elsewhere in the world and history is around 5 years old, when molars come in.
  • Breastmilk continues to provide immunity throughout the breastfeeding relationship (I'd heard before that the immune-boosting properties significantly decrease around 6 months).
  • I think there was something else but I can't remember.
Afterwards, Swee'pea fell asleep in the stroller and I wandered through an alley, snapping pics, and took my time about getting home, enjoying the sunshine and shadows.

If you're interested, I will be posting more of this morning's shots to flickr.


Aliki2006 said...

I love the firefighter pictures--they are gorgeous!

By the way, I enjoyed the previous post--"Neighbours"--I tried to comment but blogger at my comment...

krista said...

Those are great pictures.

As for the breastfeeding, my son is 16 months old, and I think he has decided to stop breastfeeding. HE is weaning ME! It's sad for me.

Mad Hatter said...

I like the last shot. It almost looks as if the shadow is smoking.

As for the weaning bit, I have surmised from watching the women/babes around me that children self-wean at drastically different developmental stages. Like all the issues with breastfeeding, this one too seems to be carried out across a wide continuum. Ah, just like life.

ewe are here said...

I wonder about the timescale re the molars. My boy has had four of them in for quite some time and he's only 18 months. Maybe the western diet moves them along more quickly?

sunshine scribe said...

Stunning stunning photos! Especially the firefighter one!

I had planned to keep the night feeding after I went back to work but my son weaned himself at 14 months. Sith

sunshine scribe said...

I meant "sigh" not "sith"


Sephiroth said...

Just thought I'd say hi as I'm trying to visit and comment on as many of the NaBloPoMo blogs as I can. :)

That is a great photoset; I'll have to check back for more :)