In a move that surprised no one more than it did me, I amassed quite the collection of breastfeeding selfies of me and my two girls. Before I had a child that feasted on my actual body for nourishment and comfort, I had no hard feelings about breastfeeding. Do it if you want! Don't do it if you don't want! Cover is fine, and so is no cover! Just do it! But now that I'm a seasoned mom, seeing photos of celebrities like Ashley Graham breastfeeding her newborn son make me viscerally ache. It is such a sweet little snapshot of a moment, and ugh — I'm just grateful someone thought to capture it for her.
This isn't the first time new mom Graham has shared a photo of her breastfeeding her son Isaac, but this photo in particular is especially lovely. The post is tagged in Brooklyn, and it looks like a darling cafe Graham is cozied up in with her best little guy on her chest. As she sips from a ceramic mug, Isaac is latched onto her breast with ease. In the second photo, she's gazing down at him over her cup, and I am filled with such warmth looking at this moment. It feels intimate, but not because there are breasts involved. It feels intimate because it is a mother and her baby, tight against each other, enjoying just a normal, everyday moment. It's like a Mary Cassatt painting come to life, but with significantly more gold hoop earrings.
A lot of the comments on the picture praise Graham for keeping it "real," while others compliment her skills. Look, it took me quite some time before I could breastfeed my baby with one hand — Graham is totally pro here. But the ones I see the most are comments just reminding Graham to soak it all in. Whether she posted the picture as a stance against those who don't want mothers to breastfeed in public really doesn't matter. All I see here is a mama and baby in love, out in the world, enjoying all the little things that are so often taken for granted. (And that often seem impossible once you're a mom with a diaper bag to pack and a baby to change and what if he cries in the restaurant and on and on and on.) I mean, that's about as real as it can get.