Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Patiently Waiting...

Life with little ones seems to be full of waiting.

A four year old waiting for her Fourth Birthday--the long awaited moment when she can have "Bubble Gum At Last!" (And wear her Merida dress FINALLY.)

Or have chocolate cake for breakfast.

Waiting and waiting for the birthday party where Princesses and Princes gather together to bounce in the bounce house...

...or smash the iron-clad piƱata in the 112 degree heat of the porch, while 20+ kids wait their turn...

...or have a dance party...

...or the 9th costume change of the hour...

...or to blow out the candle before diving into the "Sparkle Shoes Cupcakes."

Sisters waiting for the Spray Ground to "clear out" before making their grand entrance into the sprinklers.  Unfortunately, waiting too long without acting sometimes results in unanticipated consequences--like their mother saying, "Well, if you're just going to stand there and be dry, we might as well head out and be dry at home." Maybe that's just me being impatient.  

A two-year old waiting for her birthday is a different type of waiting.  It seems she exhibits more patience in waiting.

Or maybe she just decides to enjoy each day while she's still waiting to turn 2.  Maybe I can patiently wait, but just have a harder time enjoying the wait?

Shiloh realizes some things are worth waiting patiently for--like eating a donut for breakfast.

Or having Grandma come to your birthday party because you know she has brought the funnest presents for you.

It's worth the wait when your 2nd Birthday Party is themed "Dunkin' and Donuts" since Shiloh prefers a good donut to any other form of food out there.   

The Dunkin' part being the kiddie pools and sprinklers in the backyard.  Complete with bathing beauties, enjoying the time.

Every kid has to learn the art of patiently waiting in line at the Slip-n-Slide.

Waiting to see if the kid in front of you actually stops in the "pool" at the end or careens out of control getting skid-marks from sliding an extra 10 feet in the grass.  When you're only 30 pounds though, you're lucky if you make it to the end of the slide without having to get up and run the rest.

And who doesn't love home-made donuts for party favors??! Mom learned the art of patience when she realized she'd be facilitating Donut Creation for 20+ kids under the age of 4.  Thanks, Aunt Cassie, for sensing when your best friend needed some help and patience was wearing thin.

We've all heard that Patience is a Virtue, but how is it that a 2 year old has that virtue more than her 31 year old mother?  Here she is patiently waiting for her sister to bring her "the bottle" while I tend to scramble around, getting 18 more things accomplished while I'm waiting for the microwave to warm up my coffee.

How can she JUST measure out the oatmeal and be content to leave it strewn on the counter top without trying to "multi-task" the eggs and pre-heating the oven and washing a dish or two at the same time?

There's a lot I can learn from my kids about patiently waiting.  While it seems like the question of "When are we going to Chag-a-noo-ga??!?!" when asked 47 times a day is NOT patiently waiting, once we get there, they don't seem to be waiting for anything else to happen.

They just live it up--they're not waiting for the next big thing to happen.  

Maybe that's where I go wrong--once we get to whatever we were waiting on, I suddenly seem impatient to get to the next thing.

Instead of hugging and smiling and laughing and enjoying the moment.

By taking family vacations to places like "Chag-a-nooga", I hope to re-train myself to wait patiently, and then patiently enjoy the moments.

I would imagine a doctor must learn the art of patiently waiting for med school to finish and then enjoying the fact that you get to check your dad's heart and wrap up his broken arm.

A lizard may also learn that virtue--patiently waiting to use the face paint, then patiently enjoying it while your mother lets you paint away without saying, "That's enough--now let's go wash it off."

On each vacation, we get slightly better at patiently enjoying the moments we have.

Waiting for holidays is another lesson in patience.

"Is THIS day Halloween?" Shiloh asks every day for three weeks.

It's not officially Halloween until you either buy a pumpkin or take a picture next to a pumpkin that is four times the size of you.

Yahoo Farms:  a pumpkin place that makes patience an easy virtue to attain.  No lines, no exorbitant pumpkin pricing, free parking, lots of actual pumpkins, and best of all--a corn cannon.

After the usual "sit here, smile at me, look over here, hug each other, not so tight, now let her breathe, ok look at me again, one more time" pictures, I was finally able to patiently enjoy the day.

Tim is a champ at helping me patiently enjoy each activity, rather than rushing off to do the next.  Corn Maze in particular: "No, Maureen, we're not going to look at the map to get through the maze really fast.  The point of the maze is to figure it out and get lost a little and have fun." So we did that.  And I enjoyed it.

And we enjoyed the pumpkins, too.

Whenever the holiday arrives, the person who most struggles the most with learning the art of ENJOYING each activity rather than impatiently rushing to do the next thing or take the next picture or fix that stray hair-do or make the next craft: me.

So my kids and hubby remind me to relax and enjoy.

Enjoy the opportunity to trick-or-treat each year with the family favorites: The Clark's.  Astronaut Andre, Captain America Colton, Selah the Cutie Witch, Amera the Skeleton, Shiloh the White Puppy, and Canaan the Brown Puppy.

And for their mother to not worry so much about face paint smudging off and loosing the other glow-in-the-dark-wand...

...and only hitting seven houses because little legs and wagon-pullers just can't make it another block...

...and that it is OK to ease up on the Sugar Communist Manifesto for one night and let the kid eat 18 pieces of candy.  It is ok to patiently enjoy the moments.

And so I continue to learn from my kids and learn from my husband to not only patiently wait for the next big thing, but to patiently enjoy the moments as I'm living them.

Like watching the girls drive their Power Wheels, imagining the day when they're 16 and trying to drive for real and reminding myself to enjoy these little moments (and also pray really hard for when those big moments finally come.)

And the biggest Wait Patiently Moment in our lives now?  Probably the biggest one I have ZERO control over??  The baby.  I am forced to patiently wait while the baby is baking, hoping each day is "The One" and being ok when it isn't.  Reminding myself at least I won't be pregnant in February.