1. A distinct period or stage in a process of change or forming part of development
When I first became a Mom, the best piece of advice I read was, “Everything is a phase. The good, the bad, everything.” I have no idea if this wise sage was a Babycenter message board or a fellow teacher from school but I do know this: that piece of advice is the single piece of advice I treasure more than anything as a parent.
Especially when I turn that advice on myself.
There are some days when I can’t think of anything but snuggling with them on the couch. Some days when I would rather lock myself in the bedroom with a good book. Some days when they are always clean and well dressed and well fed and some days when they are, well, just dressed. There are days when I hang on their every word and days that I am much too distracted to hear their little observations of life. There are days when we sing all the way to school and days when I turn the radio up to drown out whining. There are days when I am the beautiful-put together and oh so fun super Mom from Suburbia. And some days I am Parker’s Mom, the one who always forgets his Sharing Day. There are some days when I yell. And there are some days when I am so calm I shock even myself. (What I am saying here is so much better stated in this article posted yesterday).
Last night I sat on the couch and told Parker about his phase of saying, “All done Bobo” when he was done eating. He loves to hear about it and we love to tell it. It’s become our little story about our little boy and his saying. Our little slice of memory. Our phase. One of many of our favorite phases so far.
Celia’s in an accessory phase. Wears multiple hats, headbands, necklaces and shoes. Gets mad when you take them off. Insists on putting them on herself.
Parker is currently in a rhyming phase. He’s found some interesting words that rhyme with pit, puck and witch.
But like everything in parenthood–it’s all just a matter of time before this phase is over and another one begins. With every transition comes a phase. And with every new phase we both celebrate and mourn the passing of the last one.
These phases, they are short spans of time that make up something bigger. They are the pigments in the painting of yourself as a mother. You make your own brushstrokes, your kids make the rest. These little phases of life become a history. A highlight reel of the trials and tribulations of your family. They are the pieces that make you, the pieces that break you, the pieces that help super glue you back together. Without the phases—good, bad, all of it— we have no real record of it all happening— so quickly and so wonderfully.
So this month, I navgiate the latest biting phase, the whining phase, the baby talk phase and the not eating phase. I must remind myself that I am also navigating the sleep through the night phase, the put your shoes on yourself phase, the drink from a big boy cup phase and the say please and thank you phase.
Without phases, we don’t have those kernels of memories that teach us again and again who our little people are developing into. Without phases, it’s very hard to see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. Without phases, we don’t have the stories that make up a childhood. And without phases, we don’t have the renewed sense of love and appreciation for the little people we have made.
So, cheers to the phase you are in now, may it last just long enough.