I haven't written in a while but here goes...
As some of you may know last Thursday - Saturday was spent in Portland, OR at the Surface Design Association Conference. Since I am still breastfeeding the little squeak beast, I toted him along.
I was very nervous to do so. Thinking "Is this unprofessional? How much will I be able to get out of this conference between caring for him and navigating a new city? Will my peers judge me for bringing him? " and on and on.
The truth was... It was hard work and I didn't get to absorb as many lectures as I would have liked but this community I am blessed to be a part of was super encouraging.
I met Danielle, the executive director of SDA, who said I was a badass for bringing him, and talked about the nuanced experiences of breastfeeding. A kind Board member held him for a while during the Keynote. Marci rae Mcdade who wheeled Matthew around for an hour! while I was fortunate to enjoy a poetic lecture from artist Jane Lackey. The most wonderful thing I have heard in a long while (I nearly wrote down every word she said. Where can I get a transcript of here talk!?)
During day #3 I met one artist for whom this is the first conference that she has not brought her daughter. Another who remembers attending a conference with baby in tow where she was breastfeeding and presenting. She recalls someone saying, "How brave you are?" to which she replied " Do you see another option?"
These are women who have done this before me. Who sympathize and welcome the happy squeals of a baby at the conference. Another artist mother and her partner brought their 6 month old girl along as well. What support and determination is takes to be a maker and a parent. Another artist from Texas who was pumping and brought her 3 or 4 month old. This was her first big outing after the summer hiatus and the first 3 months of life after baby. She is rocking it and I was completely impressed.
I could go on and on.
I was completely blown away. Thank you to everyone.