S came home to me last night.
It seemed as if he had been gone forever, and by the time I heard his car pull into our driveway around 10:50 p.m., I was as lighthearted and excited as I'd been on our very first date 16 years ago, because, you see, I had something very important to share with him.
As difficult as the long week was, I think the final three hours leading to his imminent arrival were far worse; he was so very close, but still quite far. I did a lot of pacing and clock-watching during those last 180 minutes, and every time my phone chimed, alerting me that he had texted an arrival time update, my heart soared.
Are you there, baby? I'm two hours out. Love you!
Missing you like crazy. I'm about an hour from home.
Less than 30 minutes now. I can't wait to nurse. Love you.
Neither of us are strangers to homecomings, and I wanted this one to be just as special and meaningful as the ones we've shared in the past. I had prepared myself as meticulously as I had on that first evening so long ago, and made our nursing space warm and inviting with lit candles and lamplight.
And I had placed the small wine-colored velvet pillow, what we call S' nursing pillow, in its proper place, among my reclining pillows, on our bed.
Just before 11:00, headlights washed through the window, and I heard the familiar purring of his car as it came to a smooth stop in front of our home. The engine stopped. Everything went dark. And my heart began to race.
I never thought he would make it inside!
He didn't need his key last night because I was waiting at the door to let him in.
He was beautiful!
There were several long moments of exchanging tight embraces and long kisses and sweet endearments, and he did what he has done for many years, the one thing that makes me feel beautiful and adored and treasured.
He took my face in his hands and looked into my eyes, as if memorizing what he saw in them.
"I missed this face," he said. "I missed you."
"I missed you, too," I replied. "More than anything. I'm so glad you're home."
From there, things grew a bit flirtatious; I asked him how he liked my new blouse, and I took him by the hand, and said, "Come with me. I want to show you something."
He was more than willing to follow me to the bedroom.
My body blossomed in S' absence, and I wanted to share the complete transformation with him, so we began our beautiful nursing session by looking at the photos I had taken throughout the week, and as I stroked his hair and he rubbed my back, I asked him to describe the changes he noticed, and each time he did, I reminded him that I was doing this for him.
Always and only for him.
I took his hands, those strong, work-roughened hands that handle my flesh with such gentle reverence, and led them to my breasts so he could explore that clothed swell, gauging their firmness, their fullness, with his fingertips before cupping them and supporting the weight of them in his palms. I covered his hands with mine, and felt the trembling flex of his fingers as they plied and pressed against my bosom.
We were both flushed. Our hearts were pounding in time, and when S was finally able to find his voice, his words were soft, hushed.
"They're so heavy."
"They're full," I replied. "They're full of the milk I made for you. And now they need to be emptied so you can be filled."
Our bed was waiting, warm and inviting, and he came to me, very much like a man who had been starving, and I eagerly gave him the one thing that would sate his desire.
That first latch was amazing.
Last night I was able to feed my husband's physical and emotional hunger from the breasts that had prepared such a feast over the course of one week.
It was glorious!
And when he had fed from each breast and had been lavished with caresses and kisses and whispered words of love throughout the entirety of our nursing session, he allowed his mouth to slip from my breast, and he thanked me for what I had given him.
But the pleasure was mine.
To be the woman who is blessed to nurture and nourish this gracious and loving man is a gift beyond compare.
He completes me.
Without S, I am only half of a person.
When he had nursed, I allowed him to drift off to sleep, and it was beautiful to lie next to him, feeling his warmth, his strong presence, and listen to the slow and steady rhythm of his breathing. A physical joining will come soon, and it will be wonderful, but last night, we shared an emotional and spiritual joining that connected our hearts and fulfilled us in a way that even lovemaking cannot.
Everyone is beginning to stir. The house will soon be as full as my heart is right now.
The children will be eager to see their father, and I will be forced to share him with three little people who have missed his presence and affection. We will take on our roles as parents once more because Dad is home, and our family is complete.
But, just as it was last night, tonight will belong only to us.
And it will be magical!