Amy Ruble: Love’s Patience

When you ponder about the concept of patience, what comes to your mind? For me, it takes me back to something that my folks used to tell me as a child, “We’re so glad we didn’t call you Patience.” As a youngster, I was always blowing hot. I was constantly itching to experience the next magical episode of life, be it an upcoming holiday, a weekend, or a thrilling sleepover with comrades – I was always there for it. My youthful spirit yearned for the fun to last and I always dreaded returning home.

I bet this picture of spirited childhood resonates with many but, that said, it doesn’t apply to all. Yes, there exists a cohort of kids who are more laid back and patient, although quite rare in my case. However, some with age, do grow to turn more patient and cultivate the virtue. And then there are those who continue to rush through adulthood and never quite manage to master patience. I can relate to the latter group and I still am, even after becoming a mother at 20 and in the ensuing eight years, learning heaps about patience. And, oh boy, it’s not a leisurely journey!

Dealing with kids is a daily exercise in patience, and spirituality is rigorously tested, not only daily but often more frequently. The instinctive reactions of irritation and anger that erupt within us are easy to give into. Phrases like “Why can’t you just simmer down?” or “No, you’ve had enough snacks” and “Stop tampering with your sister’s clothes!” prevails most of the conversations at home. Hands up those who relate to this scenario! Personally, I have learned to pause and take a moment before responding in an unhappy tone. I remind myself that the present will soon be history and they will not remain children forever. Their incessant demand for your attention is time-bound; soon they will grow out of this phase, venture out, and scarce would be the times when their curious questions and disorganized surroundings would be missed. I would reminisce about their innocent smiles and warm embraces. This ordeal is all about retaining perspective and cherishing the present.

Recall a recent instance when my spouse and I, along with our little ones, went trekking on the ‘High Trestle Trail’ in Madrid, IA. We planned it around twilight so we could enjoy the beautifully illuminated bridge. As we embarked on this much-anticipated trip, it didn’t take long for my son to start fussing and sobbing for his home. Given his tender age that’s just learning to cycle, we had to stick together and move slowly. The outing that we were so looking forward to suddenly appeared to be a disaster as had imagined a peaceful ride under the serene night sky. Instead, I was dealing with my son’s endless complaints!

Eventually, after what seemed to be an eternity, we reached our destination – the decorated bridge. It was then that my son, Isaiah, started enjoying the luminous blue lights. It was at this juncture that I reflected and realized that what matters the most is being in the present and cherishing it with my family on this serene autumn night. I couldn’t help but recall the biblical verse “Love is patient, love is kind…” which brought a sudden wave of happiness and contentment within. It was a gentle reminder to be patient with Isaiah and not to misinterpret his tantrums. For all his sweet innocence, he has just started his third year and is my sensitive little boy. His complaints were not aimed at spoiling our evening or overshadowing his little sister’s fun. He was simply an upset child who was finding it hard to explain himself. Consequently, as my mood changed, so did Isaiah’s.

Surprises from spheres unknown and reminders of what truly matters and deserves priority is what we all need. My family is my world despite their mischief and tantrums. I am thankful for this experience which has taught me to be more patient in such situations with my kids. The fleeting youth is so precious and preserving each lovely memory of it is invaluable. Every moment of life is like a souvenir; every moment I spend with my children feels like forever; every moment of life is an endowment.

I implore everyone not to take a single moment for granted in the unpredictable journey called life. Hug your loved ones more often, keep your children closer as long as you can, avoid dwelling on regrets, and live each moment as though it’s your last.

Wishing you patience and lots of love until next time,

~ by a freelance writer and blogger who loves sharing parenting experiences and mental health advice. This anonymous writer loves reading, enjoying time by the campfire, or drinking coffee when not busy with writing or parenting two adorable kids and spending time with a loving spouse.