Posts Tagged ‘patience’

This evening my sons filled me up with joy which is exactly what I needed when I got home.  Younger son is having a rocking time in second grade.  He has wonderful stories each day about “all the learning” he did.  He spoke excitedly about math class today and read me a chapter from a Goosebumps book.  Then we talked about family and ended with tickling as I tucked him into bed.  He loves to be tickled and I love the way he giggles.

Older son is having a very “serious” start to the fourth grade.  He is rather focused on being a studious young chap.  He asks questions with a more mature tone now about managing friendships and navigating the social aspects of school.  It is interesting to watch him shift to a pre-teen framework.  New things are taking priority in his mind’s eye, not just girls, but schoolwork, music, and television shows.  His own social strata is forming (that I will be allowed in for now).

Younger son has also determined he is afraid of the dark.  I’m not buying it.  It’s another reason to come back out of his room in his never-ending attempt to delay falling asleep.  Then he bats his long, dark eyelashes at me, sure that will get me to cave.  It didn’t.  He’s still just as adorable as he does it, but I know that game.  Still, he’s been going to bed earlier which means he falls asleep earlier.  Some nights he’s plumb tuckered out and falls asleep as quickly as older son does.  Tonight I could fall asleep as quickly as older son.  Just waiting to hear younger son’s snores echoing down the hall.

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Younger son went to camp on Wednesday night.  We left him at camp around 7:45 that evening and he was crying.  Older son and I were crying too.  Yesterday was tolerable.  I only got misty-eyed a few times, but held it together pretty well.  Today was a different story.

Last  night I cuddled a pair of his footed pajamas.  I didn’t sleep well.  I woke up every few hours.  I didn’t really have bad dreams or anything, just kept waking up.  Didn’t sleep soundly.

This morning I cried a lot.  Couldn’t get myself to stop.  I kept myself busy and tried not to think about it on my way home from the lovely half-day Friday.  Filled my afternoon with busy work.  It was good because it was purposeful work.  But I was still thinking about him.

Tonight I put in Sweeney Todd and figured that would fill the evening but it was only 10:30 when it was over.  I can’t bear this.  If I go to sleep this early I know I won’t sleep well.  I wish it were already Saturday morning.

I know it’s only two days of not seeing him, and I know others in the world have had to deal with far more dire circumstances.  Still it hurts my heart to know my baby isn’t in our home.  Tomorrow morning.  Only an hour and a half away.  Then I’ll see my baby.  Still, it’s only 10:52…

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The schedule will become even tighter than usual over the next couple of weeks and will stay that way for about six weeks.  I’ll be working my regular job during the day and then teaching at night four nights a week.  With this upcoming restriction to my time with my family, the time with them this week has been all the sweeter.  It has forced simplicity to the foreground.  The five minutes alone with each son after work matters.  The ten minutes with my husband is sweet.  The quiet time once the boys are asleep is valuable.  I am multi-tasking quite wisely.  I’m not trying to over multi-task, but throwing in a load of laundry before dinner and then after dinner throwing it into the dryer.  I can fold it tomorrow.

Dinner was not rushed and the conversation with the family was fun and free-flowing.  The boys took their showers with minimal resistance because of the promise of Lego building once they were all squeaky clean.  They got to hear two pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (only two pages because they had to brush their teeth).  More pages tomorrow.

I watched Murder by Death this evening but also wrote three case studies for one of my classes.  I cleaned up the dining room table.

The odd thing is that even though the schedule is getting tighter, I’ve been accomplishing a lot in little bits and pieces.  Some folks say they work better under pressure.  I don’t always, but right now I am and that’s a lovely surprise.

And each day I’ve spent some time with God.  Praying about the boys and their days at school.  Praying for patience at work in each task I need to complete so I accomplish it as well as I can.  Praying for grace and patience with my sons before work in the brief time we share each morning.  And again at night in the hours we spend together before bedtime.  I want to let them stay up late each night but that’s not fair for them.  They truly need their rest since they are growing boys!  I need quiet time at night to take care of house work and my own thoughts.  I need to go to sleep by a reasonable hour as well.

Little changes in schedule and habits can release such energy.  I feel like I am accomplishing more in each day.  It’s powered by time with God and my family.  Try a little change in the schedule.  See what you can do when you shake things up a bit and add a dash of simplicity and grace.

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and a life long quest.  Why do grown-ups forget to have patience with children?  More specifically, why do I forget to have patience with my sons?  Good grief, they are great boys.  I forget they are only boys…six and (a week shy of) eight years old.  They need time to process, formulate their ideas, and then share them.  I wish I were a supermom who always had patience, but I’m not.  I have moments when I don’t remember they’re only children and move through the moment or experience too quickly.   These experiences are often the annoying day-to-day activities, like running errands or working through the chore list, but they are still experiences that the boys can learn from.  What lessons do I want them to learn?

I want them to learn that chores are a good thing.  Chores help teach about work-ethic, the need to contribute to a household, church, classroom, or community and the importance of everyone who uses a space contributing to it.  I want to teach this without also teaching the very easy art of complaining, but I fail there too.

I want them to learn that some days we have to do things that aren’t fun, but we need to do those things before we can necessarily get to the fun stuff.  This is one part of the job of being mom I’d love to blow off.  I spend 50 of my waking hours at work.  That doesn’t leave a lot of waking hours to spend with my family.  I’d rather do the fun stuff with them than the boring errand type things.  How do I add more time to the day?  Jim Croce sang about this desire.  Oh, if I could put time in a bottle.  I try to apply the idea of epochal time to my waking non-work time, but it seems as though I’m better at epochal time at work and fungible time at home.  Staying up late to complete tedious chores only works so much.  I could have a spine and follow through on my plans of having the boys help me with the tedious chores, thus killing several birds with one stone. 

I did manage it today, sort of.  After mowing the section of the yard that I couldn’t get to before the rain, we weeded for a while together.  My sons are not used to work.  They were complaining, taking breaks, and avoiding work as much as possible.  We did get a decent amount of weeding done (the really tall ones along my curb are practically gone).  We had fun shouting about the heat (“It’s hot!…Did I mention it’s hot?” followed by our giggles).  They had to put  away toys tonight too, but again it was accompanied with whines and attempts to get out of it.  That all relates back to my lacking a spine (ironic, considering I’m married to the world’s greatest chiropractor). 

Each day I get a little better.  Each day I can have a little more patience, accomplish the tasks I need to do, and celebrate the epochal moments of life.  Well, I can try at least.

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