|This is Jane’s six year old birthday photo. Her smile says it all.|
I was about 30 minutes late picking up Jane from school one day. 30 minutes! I know, I know…that is so late.
The teachers had called me, called Cody and I think one of my emergency contacts that I had offered to help earlier that day! I was so embarrassed and shaken by the experience. I had no great excuse. I had got onto the computer to research preschool curriculum for my nearly 3 year old, and I honestly just lost track of time. I did not know where my cell phone was, so I was not getting the calls and I couldn’t call the school back once I realized. Brooklyn was sleeping in her room so I frantically yanked her from her peaceful sleep and into the van with her pant-less sister. My hair was greasy and I started to think of all the things that the teachers were thinking about me. I was mind reading and what I imagined they were thinking was not very nice. Agggh! Another thing to work on.
I rushed to the school and found Jane hanging out with her teacher and the summer school coordinator. They were pleasant to me considering my terrible oversight. The teacher said goodbye to Jane and slipped out as soon as she could, but the coordinator was finishing a story with Jane. Jane was smiling and acting terribly happy for having been forgotten. Then the coordinator started in, “Your daughter is so lovely. She has been really patient. I sure hope she is in my class when she gets into second grade.” Even as we walked out the door she was saying, “Your daughter really is so pleasant.”
It wasn’t until much later that I realized how significant the compliments were. I was way too caught up in the flustered feeling I was getting as a self-conscious mom to notice that Jane was the one that had really “suffered” and yet she was smiling, laughing and finding the best in the situation. As we walked out to the van after picking her up 30 minutes late, I asked her to forgive me and she said, “Yes, mom, I forgive you.” Again, this was with a smile. I explained what happened and she didn’t skip a beat. No grudges. No trying to rub it in that I had been an irresponsible parent. She was patient while she waited and then quickly forgave me. Wow! I needed that lesson this week.
There was one afternoon as I was cleaning up and trying to get dinner ready that I started to complain. I was literally saying, under my breath, sarcastic, frustrated things like, “Yeah, I love to sweep five thousand times a day,” or “If I don’t clean the dishes, they just pile up and no one cares until it’s time to sit down to dinner and there are no dishes to eat off of.” Like I say, I was feeling pitiful in this moment, and I felt like I might drown if I didn’t leave. I simply put the broom back in the closet and walked out the door.
I took a walk around the block and hoped that Cody could handle the kids. I took deep breathes and tried to get my mind right again. I started with thinking about how I could get a full-time job and leave this suffocating life behind, and then slowly, as the walk progressed, I thought of how patient Jane had been. My life does not look the way I want it to look right now, but I have to keep smiling and see the best in the situation. I know if I am patient, all will be set right and I will receive the things that I want so badly.
PATIENCE! My life-long struggle to wait on the Lord is in full force as a mother. I want to not only be more patient, I want to be pleasant as I navigate this season of my life.
I hope we can all be a little more patient, forgiving and pleasant, even when things are not ideal!
Again, I always want to hear about things that you are learning from little ones. Comment below if you have learned a valuable lesson lately.