It really does change once you nurse your own child. I *used* to think "I'm going to nurse for a year." I never really thought about what would happen at a year (did I assume DS would pop off one day and say, "Well, that's it for me. Thanks so much for a great year Mama!!" and shake my hand??
) and I never realized what a baby they still *are* at a year...until I had DS. I used to see moms nursing toddlers and think, "ooo-kay, that one's a little old" but now I realize that it's not a weird or odd feeling to nurse a child beyond a year and into toddlerhood at all. Don't forget, it's not like you are one day nursing a newborn and suddenly someone switches him for a little kid, they get older and bigger so gradually and you do just get so used to nursing, it becomes the norm and you're just *used* to it. Now I see my 2 year old nephew (who was mother-led weaned at a year on the nose) and think (when I see him battling constant colds, etc., having attachment issues with his mom after a new baby has shown up, and being really difficult to soothe/comfort) "Oh man, that kid could really REALLY have benefited from extended nursing." Your perceptions do change.
I'm in a more mainstream group of mamas, all with the same age babies who have been together since the early months of pg and essentially ALL of the breastfeeders are still going strong (and three of us are preggo again!) Maybe one or two had planned on nursing beyond a year - and now all of us still do. There's no magical transformation that takes place one day, your milk is still as nutritious and the health and attachment benefits are still there.
I'm almost 24 wks pg with DC #2, and still nursing DS (well, he's hit or miss lately - some times he opts out) and I would be so sad to have him completely self-wean now. It's been a wonderful and special part of our relationship - and one I wish on any mother!!
PS I forgot a key part - it's the biggest gun in my arsenal!
Meaning - hands down, there is no more efficient or better way to calm a freaked out toddler, settle down a wired one at bedtime, or easily get one who's woken up with excruciating teething pain and is screaming at 3am back to sleep. When we travel and I need to get DS settled into a completely new place to sleep, it never fails to soothe and comfort him. The thought of NOT having nursing in my "bag of tricks" anymore is a scary, scary idea!!! So, not only are the benefits clear to the child, they're pretty cool for the mom too