Patience isn’t something that comes naturally to me. When my children make poor choices my instinct isn’t to calmly redirect; it is to yell. When the car in front of my is going under the speed limit my instinct is to yell and pound on the horn (yeah I’m that person, sometimes). When the grocery lines are long I feel anxious and frustrated. When mail takes too long I feel annoyed. Being patient isn’t my strength.
As I am a human being, I am always evolving. Trying to become better. Do better. Make small changes, tiny at times. One foot in front of the other. Recognizing that I may take five steps forward only to fall back six. I’m not failing, I’m trying.
Trying to be more patient has been a journey for me. From the moment I first found out I was pregnant with my first child I wanted everything to happen right that second. The pregnancy milestones, birth, first few months of her life. I spent these precious moments wishing for the next thing, focusing on what was to come rather than enjoying what was happening in the moment.
The past seven years has taught me a lot about patience. The saying “the days are long but the years are short” is so true. I feel like I blinked and now my daughter is in first grade. Full of wonder and attitude and teetering between little kid and big kid. I am learning to slow down. Enjoy that the person is front of me is going too slow because it’s another moment I get to spend with my kids (note: I am only good about this about 12% of the time). Spend less time thinking about what is next and more time enjoying what is now.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you asked me, my biggest weakness would be my lack of patience. I spend a lot of time reframing my thoughts. Reminding myself that my two year old saying my name 30000 times is annoying but eventually she will stop and only say my name to complain to me. Remembering that not long ago I was anxiously awaiting first steps and now my baby is using those strong legs to put herself on a bus every day. Rejoicing in the milestones and not ignoring what’s right in front of me to look for what may be coming.
Parenting is such a journey. I think my kids teach me more about myself than I will ever teach them. They have showed me what my weakness is, and the things I need to do to overcome it. They’ve made me brave and want to work on this. They’ve helped me to live in the moment. I am not perfect, I still find myself thinking five steps ahead sometimes, but I am getting better. Life moves so very fast, I am making an concentrated effort to enjoy the moments I am given as they come.
Tomorrow, I’ll work on no slamming that horn. For today, I’m too excited that my 6 year old read the bedtime story to me for the first time. Living in that moment.