A New Phase of Parenting

Yesterday was my first day on skis since February 4, and it was glorious. No wind (rare at Eldora), no traffic, and plenty of sunshine. Julia and I did a couple of runs with Scott and Margaret, and then went up to the top of the mountain for a couple of runs. I was thrilled to have a bit of one-on-one time with Julia. Lately, the scale has been tipping heavily towards "manager/ organizer/ drill sergeant mom" and not as heavily towards "fun, relaxed, agenda-free mom," and even though I spend hours per day with my girls, sometimes I get to the end of the day and I think, "Oh. I miss them." We spent one of the rides up the lift planning Julia's birthday party (in August. This kid is a planner.), and played some low-key Red Light, Green Light while we skied, but mostly, we just hung out quietly together. 

I suppose I could always say this, because the girls are always changing, and I am always changing, but it feels especially true right now: we seem to be in a new phase of parenting. Margaret is done with the "mostly potty trained but it's actually more stressful because there could be an accident at any time" phase. I leave the house frequently with just a purse now-- my first time in 6.5 years without a diaper bag. Julia is reading voraciously, and this has settled her the same way my mom has said it settled me. And spring is coming, which makes everything better, even when it's been a very mild winter. One morning last week, Julia woke before Margaret, which is rare. Usually I start my days opening 3-5 yogurt squeeze tubes for Margaret (let's pretend the probiotics outweigh the added sugar in terms of nutritional content), and if I'm lucky, she will let me read to her, but more likely, we're playing at 6am, and discussing the injustices of her three-year-old world view (there is lots of complaining about our pets being near her). But when Julia came upstairs and climbed onto the couch with her book, I seized the opportunity, poured myself another cup of coffee, and read next to her for a blissful twenty minutes. I absolutely loved parenting babies. I was always ready for them to be in the next phase in some ways, but I also mourned a bit when they each turned one, and when each girl stopped nursing at seventeen months. I could see the losses then, but I couldn't know the glimpses of ease that were to come.