Patience. What comes to mind when you think of patience? My mind always goes to what my parents always said to me: “Good thing we didn’t name you Patience.” I was never patient growing up. I was always ready for the next thing whether it be a holiday, a weekend, a sleep over with friends…you name it. I never wanted the fun to end and I never wanted to go home.
Now this probably describes a lot of kids; it definitely describes mine! Everyone is different, of course, and there probably are kids that are pretty chill and patient (again, not mine). Other kids grow more patient as they get older and learn patience. Some people never really learn patience, even into adulthood. I’ve always just identified as impatient, and I am still to a point. Since having my daughter at 20 years old, I’ve learned a LOT about patience in the last 8 years. Let me be the first to say, it isn’t easy!
Children will test your last nerve usually at least on a daily basis, if not more. It is so easy to just reply with annoyance and anger. “Can’t you just be quiet?” “No, you can’t have another snack.” “Stop pulling down your sister’s pants!!!!” Any other parents with me here? I have learned to stop and take a breath before responding in anger. I remind myself they won’t be this little forever, they won’t always want my attention every moment of every day; one day they will grow up, move out, and I will miss the millions of questions and messes around the house. I will miss their little smiles and hugs. It’s all about perspective and appreciating what you have in the moment.
The other day my husband and I took the kiddos to a trail called High Trestle Trail in Madrid, IA. We went around 7:30pm so we could see the bridge lit up. We all took our bikes. I had been looking forward to this all day! Now it wasn’t two minutes in before my son was already whining and crying that he wanted to go home. He only has a toddler bike and is just learning to peddle, so someone had to stay with him the whole time and he doesn’t go very fast, either. It started out as what seemed like a disaster. I just wanted to ride my bike and enjoy the beautiful night, but my son was ruining it with his crying and whining!
After what felt like ages, we finally made it to the lighted bridge (pictured above). Isaiah started having a good time. He LOVED the bright blue lights. Suddenly I realized all the things I was upset about that weren’t going the way I wanted really did not matter. What mattered was this moment: being with my daughter, my son, and my husband on a beautiful fall night. The Bible verse “Love is patient, love is kind…” came to mind. I could only smile to myself at this thought and stop being impatient with my son and how he had been acting. I honestly felt God speaking to me in this moment, reminding me that Isaiah (my son) is only 3 years old and he is my sensitive little boy. Isaiah wasn’t acting like that to try to ruin my evening or my husband’s or my daughter’s; he was just upset about something he couldn’t quite express. As my attitude changed, so did my son’s.
God surprises me in moments like these with reminders of what’s really important and what is not. Family is important. My kids are my world, even when the annoy the crap out of me! I am so grateful God opened my eyes and helped me be more patient and enjoy this moment with my kids. They grow up so fast and one day they’ll have their own lives. I want to soak up every moment. Each moment is a gift; each moment I have breath in my lungs is a gift; each moment I have with my kids is a gift; each moment I have on this Earth is a gift.
Don’t take a single moment for granted for you never know what the future holds. So hug your loved ones more often, hold your kids close as long as you can, live with no regrets, and love like each moment is your last.
Until next time,