Heres a true story about when the "right" time to wean could be, according to one very old and wise lady:
As I nursed my 8 month old in the lobby of a doctor's office, I heard sniffling and occasional sobbing coming from an very old lady behind me. After a few minutes of hearing her, I turned around and asked if she was ok.
Quietly and in Spanish, she begain to tell me her story...
"I'm from a small town south of Mexico City. Fifty years ago, I weaned my five year old son. Twenty-five years ago he moved to the city and became a wealthy businessman. He went twenty years without calling me (her eyes welling up in tears again). BUT...he called me last night, and he called me to tell me that he had a flashback of his childhood...he remembered himself at my breast at the age of 5. And he broke down and cried, and thanked me for that memory, because after all of this time it was the memory of nursing that woke him up to his roots, to his family, to his humble start, and to his mother."
The old lady tearfully looked me straight in the eyes and said 'Senorita, for everything on earth, please don't nurse her longer because some doctor tells you it's healthier, or because it makes tantrums easier to quell. Nurse your little girl until her time at the breast is really over...until it's ingrain in to her heart and her min. Nurse her until she remembers nursing...because one day, it might be that memory that will bring her back to you. No matter what happens to you, she will remember that you nursed her, and she will nurse her children. "
Gracias, viejita, for the most meaningful and normalizing breastfeeding advice ever given (to me). Its because of you that I nursed her in to memory.
(For those of you who, for very personal and legitimate reasons, are unable to nurse as long as you'd like to, take LOTS of photos, and remind your babies that you and her/him had a special relationship that no two people could ever have. Remember, whether you nurse for a feeding, a day, a month or a year...you still gave your baby an extended part of you.)