Sometimes I think I am the only person in my family who knows what waiting is. How hard it can be. How much I have to bite my tongue, try not to roll my eyes, keep myself from heaving that heavy sigh that says, “Please. hurry. up.”
How foolish I am when I think such a thing. Of course I am not the only one required to wait. Children wait all the time. And my children happen to have the chattiest mother on the planet, so they wait even more than most.
But in the last few years, this practice of waiting for people I love has become beautiful to me, when I take the time to do it…..well.
When my four year old has something to say, I squat down and look him in the eyes and wait while his growing brain searches for his words. I see his earnestness, his eagerness, his excitement, his elation. All those things his eyes say better than his words anyway. All because I’m waiting.
And my eldest, the pre-teen who might just open up after I turn the lights out if I linger a moment or two longer, rather than hurrying off in anticipation of that time of my day when I am finally off duty.
And my sweet, sweet middle son who is coming into his own this year. He is the one who brings playfulness along with him where ever he goes. And if I hurry him along, refusing to wait and allow space for him to be who he is I will miss the play in my life entirely. I will miss him entirely.
And let’s just say that if I never waited for my husband to finish that one last thing (he is the KING of one last things) when I have all three boys and me in the van and ready to go, he would never come along with us anywhere. To anything. And without him I would miss the humor and delight in my marriage.
So I keep practicing waiting. And I think I am actually getting better at it. I believe it is a sacred art of sorts, involving the same letting go and seeing where the process takes me as creating does.
Waiting is the relinquishing of what I want, the destination I am headed toward, the timeline I want my life to move on and creating space for something I would not have otherwise anticipated, seeing where the wait takes me, what it reveals to me about myself and the people and world around me.
Waiting is a such a small thing, but it tells someone they are important enough for me to set aside the rest of the world that is vying for my attention and do nothing out of reverence for them.
And that is no small thing at all.