I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of patience until I became a parent.
Particularly, a parent of this one:
He’s not a bad child; on the contrary, he’s sweet and affectionate and respectful and obedient…umm okay maybe not always. He just has the occasional epic meltdown that puts my sanity in jeopardy. You know, normal 3-year-old antics. We’re working on it.
But here’s the real thing. He is. So. Sloooooooow. Not in the intelligence realm. He knows his ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors and can work a jigsaw puzzle like nobody’s business.
I’m talking about take an hour to eat your breakfast. Sit on the toilet for 30+ minutes. Get dressed in 10-minute phases for each garment. Consume a bowl of rice one precious morsel at a time.
It’s enough to make even the most easy-going mom want to rip her hair out. Yes, it drives me absolutely crazy. Especially when we are trying to go anywhere beyond our walls.
My husband pointed out to me the other night that if I am constantly thinking of my frustration when I think of him, then I need to start thinking differently. I quickly responded that of course that isn’t the only way I think! Just sometimes.
But how much frustration is acceptable when you’re thinking about your children? That’s a real head scratcher.
The flip side of my slow poke’s pokiness is that he is fascinating to watch. He savors every bite. He inspects every detail. He completes every task down to the finest detail. He understands at a very young age what it is to be deliberate and diligent.
It’s when I exit my normal whirlwind of task-oriented existence and sit and observe him that I realize that maybe he has something figured out. He can’t tell time, so what’s the rush to do anything? Why not savor every moment? Why not appreciate the finer aspects of life’s details?
It’s not easy to change the way I think. But these kids sure help me out. Now if only I could convince him that you can successfully consume and enjoy more than one grain of rice at a time…