307 days without yelling, 58 days of loving more to go!
Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Is it time yet? Are we there yet? Has the line moved yet? I spend too much time looking at you, wondering if it is time yet. Perhaps I should care less and enjoy the time that is now? Perhaps that would make waiting easier for both me and my kiddos?
Yeah, I know. Easier said than done.
The Orange Rhino
How much of our lives are spent waiting? Waiting for an answer. Waiting for someone. Waiting for something. A lot. More minutes than I can count. In fact you’d be waiting an awful long time for me to finish this post if I actually tried to count or even guesstimate how much time I have spent waiting in my life. And even then it would most certainly be a guess.
But there would be one certainty. I HATE waiting. It drives me nuts. Not just because I am a punctual person who doesn’t like to waste time, and an organized person who likes to maximize time, and a control-freak type person who doesn’t like to wait but likes to know now, but because well, it’s hard to be patient.
It was hard to be patient when I was in jr. high school and waiting for my first “real kiss.”
It was hard to be patient in high school and waiting to learn where I got accepted to college.
It was hard to be patient in college waiting to hear if I got my first job.
It was hard after college waiting and waiting for an engagement ring.
It was hard after the ring waiting and waiting and waiting two weeks past due date for labor to start.
Those are obviously big milestones, and the waiting was obviously hard. Even though I was waiting for great moments, the nervous anticipation of these great moments was a real pain in the tuckus as it brought me way up in excitement and then way down with disappointment.
But even for the little milestones, even the little non-milestones, waiting is hard. Waiting for gas when two kids are screaming in back seats is hard. Waiting for said kids to stop screaming so you can talk to the other kids who are crying and can’t hear you over the screaming is hard. Waiting in line at Starbucks for the lady on her phone not paying attention is hard. Waiting for night time to come so I can have some peace and quiet is hard. Yes, waiting for big and little things is hard!
Little man had his MRI today and I have to wait three to four days for answers. I want answers NOW. As in thirty seconds ago. I don’t want to wait to find out if my baby has something wrong with his brain because every minute that passes I am going to be anxious and scared and sad and hopeful for good news but still scared and still wicked impatient. It’s going to be an emotional roller coaster these next few days.
But I can handle it, the wait. Kind of. I’m 35 I have had the luxury of teaching myself patience over the years. Yet still, I will struggle. I will get angry every day that I have to wait. I will snap at my kids every day that I have to wait. I will feel nervous every day.
And again, I am 35.
But what if I were 3 or 5 and not 35? If I struggle with waiting and I understand time and life (or at least kind of do) as an adult, imagine how kids feel trying to be patient? Imagine how kids feel waiting?
Since they don’t quite understand time?
Since they don’t quite get why things can’t happen now?
Since they don’t quite embrace the whole patience is a virtue thing?
It must be hard as h*ll for them. I know how much I struggle with waiting. This week proved it to me as I waited for doctors appointments and wait again for results. Waiting makes me antsy, it makes me b*tchy sometimes, it makes me frustrated, it makes me snappy.
So is it any wonder that kids struggle with waiting too? How often have I snapped at them for getting itchy in line at the grocery store, Target, Dunkin’ Donuts? How often have I yelled at them in the past for complaining about waiting for me while I ran around the house getting jackets and snacks and shoes for everyone? Sure, they need to learn patience but don’t we all? Aren’t I still learning it? Don’t perhaps my boys deserve a bit more of my patience with them as they learn patience and the art of waiting?
Waiting is hard. Again I’ve learned to manage it. But for kids, well in my experience it just makes them ask more questions, be more hyper, listen less, sleep less.
And as a parent all those feelings kids express around waiting can let’s face it…get EXHAUSTING. Especially now with Christmas 15 days away. The questions of when is Christmas and the extra hyper around because my boys can’t wait, literally and figuratively, well, it has me ready to snap!
I want to yell: “Look at the calendar! We have 15 days to wait!!!”
I want to yell: “No it isn’t Christmas. Go back to bed!”
I want to yell: “Don’t you know how to patiently be patient?!”
But instead of yelling I am going to choose empathy.
I am going to remember just how much I HATE waiting.
And as for me and how I am going to handle waiting these few days. I’m just going to wake up each day and “practice patience” by enjoying the moment. I am going to focus on the moment as best as I can. I am going to hug lots. Laugh lots. Pay attention lots. I am going to play lots and stay distracted so I don’t watch the clock or the phone. I’m going to enjoy the wait. I am going to dance in the rain.
It will be hard. But I won’t let it make me waste the time that I do have. Right now. And I certainly won’t let it make me yell at my kids because I’m in a bad mood or yell at them because they are tired of waiting for Christmas. I’ll embrace the wait, the good and the bad of it. Because I get it.
Waiting is hard.