Dear Brave and Beautiful Woman Nursing in a Restaurant in NYC Winter of 2006:
I vividly remember you. What I remember more is my ignorant and naive expression I made at you. We never met or said hi. I can’t remember what you were wearing or if you were eating alone or with someone. I remember two things. You were gorgeous, you were nursing and I gave you a strong look of disgust for not covering your newborn child while eating in the middle of a busy restaurant.
My husband and I were only 18 and 19 at the time. We decided to visit NYC because I had a friend living not far from the city in New Jersey. We had minimal bills and serving jobs so we had the money at the time to be extravagant. When our paths crossed, we wanted to go out to a fancy restaurant and indulge in highly rated and overpriced cuisine. I couldn’t tell you the name of the place and the experience turned out to be horrible. Our server was a complete bitch and after paying the bill she said something about how she could have just kept our CC and used it without our knowing. I now consider that our instant karma.
I am sorry. Deeply truly sorry.
I am a mother now. All these years later. My son just turned one and he is still breastfeeding. Sometimes for nutrition and sometimes for comfort.
You see, I am a very modest person. I have been involved with theatre for my entire life so try figuring that contradiction out. It probably has to do with the disdain I have towards my own body more days than not.
Since becoming a mother my disgust for your choice has turned to envy and admiration.
At the time I just saw a beautiful woman flaunting her perfectly shaped breasts in my husbands face. I did. I am not proud of it but the truth is the truth.
What I should have seen was a woman who was in the middle of a crowded restaurant, breasts swollen (maybe in pain), worried about getting stares for a crying baby, desperate to feed her rapidly growing child the best food she could provide while feeling exposed, uncomfortable and confused.
After one year of breastfeeding my child in public I wish I had the confidence and bravery to not cover my child eating. My child hates being covered and while feeding him it is a constant battle between keeping him latched and my desperate attempts to not flash any strangers regardless of their gender.
So, here is to you Brave and Beautiful Woman Nursing in a Restaurant in NYC Winter of 2006.
I understand now and I am sorry.
Your Strongest Supporter