WIP, or Work in Progress, is a term used in a lot of crafts. In knitting you might also hear On the Needles. Whatever the phrase, it really just means what you are working on at the moment.
I've been talking a lot about my husband's sweater, which is definitely still a WIP. Generally speaking, I have two to three projects on needles at one time. Usually one project has been sitting for quite some time (usually because I got bored or frustrated), another is usually midway to almost finished and the third is in its infancy, maybe just barely cast on.
Recently, I have been contemplating the term WIP and I came to a realization. In fact, it was a quite obvious realization. I have two other works in progress . . . my kids.
I see a lot of similarities between raising kids and working on a complicated knitting pattern. They both require a lot of attention and if you aren't paying attention there is a good chance that you are going to have to take a few steps back in order to correct an issue. You have to hope that a mistake made too far back to simply be undone can be corrected as you move forward. It is always interesting to watch the bits and pieces come together to form a more coherent picture. And most important, you have to trust in the process and that at the end of it all you will have a finished object you feel good about sending out into the world.
Now, unlike a knitting project, I sometimes forget the my kids are works in progress. When I have something on needles it is easy to understand that it isn't complete and there is still more forming that needs to take place. With my kids, there are times when I forget they need more time to absorb information and incorporate it into who they are. I sometimes expect that they should know things that are really far beyond their years. In other words, I have to remind myself that they are kids and still have a ways to go before fully formed.
Just like them, and my knitting projects, I too am a work in progress.