Some of those who study early childhood development have come up with a schedule of Wonder Weeks, shown most simply in a chart of Stormy Periods
of mental leaps, advances, which present themselves through clinging, crying, impossible behavior, followed by Sunny Stretches.
Motherhood, I think, has Wonder Weeks, weeks when I’m trying to keep up with this still brand new person in my life, to read his signals, to figure out when he needs help and when he needs healthy neglect,
weeks when my Patience is Thin, regardless of how objectively challenging the baby is being.
Right now, for example? Thomas is entering a Wonder Week time. On the verge. Not just first tooth, not just almost-crawling, but apparently there’s about to be yet another Big Bang in his brain as the world around him suddenly makes so much more sense. again. As he puts together the sounds we make with what they mean, light switches relating to light, time of day relating to routine. He’s nowhere near impossible, but he’s working harder than usual.
And it shows. In how close he is to crawling. In the ways everything continues to not just fascinate him but to send him into joyful giggle fits (strangers, shadows, the dog). In how much he loves to engage with others – family, friends, other people at the grocery store. My little charmer. He’s actually sleeping a little better than usual, too.
And I? After a long dark wonder week of the soul, I’m slipping into a Sunny Stretch. I have a newfound reservoir of patience and calm in watching his very necessary struggles. It’s spring, and nothing can’t be cured by a long walk outside, by sitting half an hour on the beach, our feet digging into smooth sea stones, by a little mama milk, by coffee and cupcakes with friends and their oh-so-chill baby boys, by an escape all alone to run or to buy summer dresses and sandals or to sit in the quiet of the library, by a morning waking up together as a family with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
I’m writing and I bought a new dress & a new skirt. I have a pile of library books and a full stash of tea. Fortified and ready for June, for live baseball and grilling out and family hikes.