PHASE means to carry out something in gradual steps.
Just like all moms and dads too, there is a phase we experience with our children. We enjoyed the phase when they were babies, cooing and gooing, watching them crawl, walk, saying words, then developing full sentences.
The next phase was the terrible two's, as bad as it was there were times when it was funny (ADMIT IT.. YOU LAUGHED)
Then your child grew up and you had to go through the phase of releasing your baby on the 1st day of school. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was nervous! I was in tears, but he was smiling ready for me to release him.
Time moved on and the next phase was the number grades. We watched them develop and come into their character. The mood swings and subtle sarcastic remarks would come out their mouths and we would have to take a step back, trying to compose ourselves, trying not to go upside their head. Sometimes I would have to leave the room to calm down, then to laugh because although I have a son, he has my attitude at times and sly remakes. I corrected that immediately and didn't have any more problems after that. Now at that time, he was in the 5th and 6th grade.
In June 2016 my not so little boy anymore, graduated from 8th grade.
I cried of course. But now I'm in a NEW PHASE. A scary phase: HIGH SCHOOL. It is quite scary being a parent of a high school kid. We don't know what we will encounter. My son is on the school's football team. It was a great and fulfilling transition to see him on the Middle School football team (which by the way they ended their season undefeated!) to play on the High School's Freshmen Football to team (which they only lost 1 game in the entire season!!!). But I was scared out my mind when he called me one Friday night, while I was stuck in traffic trying to get home from work, TELLING me that he was going to the Varsity's Football game. Well first, I had to put him in his place. I told him that just because he is now in high school that doesn't give him the right to TELL me where he is going, he must ASK first. I can definitely tell you that when they are in high school, they think that they are already grown. But we have to constantly remind them that they are so far from being grown and an adult.
Well, after I corrected him, he did ASK. And then there was this dead silence. I think the silence lingered for eternity. My heart began to pound. I was scared. SHOULD I LET HIM GO? He only went out during the day to hang out with his friends at a nearby park or go to football practice. But to go to a game at 6:30 at night (kick-off is at 7) and it's going to be dark when the game is over around 9:30 or so and then for him to walk back home with his good friend was TERRIFYING for me. As much as I wanted to shout NO! STAY HOME! LET'S PLAY A GAME! HEY WE CAN GO OUT FOR DINNER OR SOMETHING, I knew this was the day I dreaded that was coming in high school. I took a deep breath and said, "Okay, but your curfew is 9. You better be in the house by 9. Your phone better be on and you better answer it when I call you." He was so eager and thrilled to go. I called everybody that night. Excited but scared because this was his first time out the house like this. Getting home without him there to come out his room telling me how hungry he is felt weird. (Which you need to know that high school boys and girls are always hungry) I remember it was 7 o' clock because Good Times was on (my Friday night go to) That was the longest 2 hours of my life. At one point I went in his room and I stood there in silence, realizing that I am not ready for the next phase in my life....in his life. I was nervous. I want to still hold his hand, I want to take him to the park and watch him run and play and take him to the zoo....I can't remember the last time we went to the zoo. He got to the age of 11 and told me that he was too old to go to the zoo. I stood there taking in the memories. I even pulled out his baby book and held his first outfit he wore home from the hospital.
I had to realize that he isn't my little baby anymore. And this new phase of HIGH SCHOOL is going to be exciting and full of everything.
So for the next 4 years, you are going to come on this new journey with me as I get insight and you get insight too. You probably have a son and/ or daughter that is beginning high school or has already begun. Feel free to share your new phase too. I co-teach at a high school and see the hormonal imbalance, the distance, hearing TMI.. but to experience it at home is different. As of now, my son has just finished the 1st marking period.... which was....okay... not too bad. Since the first day of school my son tells me that in 4 years he will be leaving to go to college IN ANOTHER STATE.
I just take a deep breath and say, "Just let me get through this new phase first before I enter the empty nest phase."
*PICTURES WILL BE LIMITED AND USED WITH MY SON'S PERMISSION TO RESPECT HIS PRIVACY.