Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Kindergarten Patience

There are few things in life my son loves more than spending time with my mom. He gets to entertain her with explanations of video game characters and their special moves. He gets to stay up late and watch endless episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants. He gets to eat all of his favorite foods in whatever order he pleases.

On the other hand, there are few things in life he loathes more than waiting to spend time with my mom. He knows the time is coming, but every passing minute makes him more anxious and unbearable. Mommy, what time is it? Mommy, is grandma waiting for me at her house? Mommy, can I call to see if grandma is ready for me? Mommy, did grandma say that you can bring me over her house yet? Mommy, why is grandma not calling me? Mommy, do I look like I’m getting older while I wait for grandma? And if grandma calls to delay his arrival by a few minutes or an hour, oh heavens, I might as well have kicked him in the stomach or something with the look of utter disgust and pain that comes over his face.

It is the most annoying thing about him. Listen, I love my son, but making him wait for something must be some sort of sick retribution from the curse my mother hurled my way when I was a kid (i.e., “I can’t wait until you have kids of your own!”), and I cannot adequately express the pure frustration that rises in me when his impatience swells to epic proportions.

You know what’s bananas, though? Today, I realized that I am a five-year-old kid bugging God every few minutes about what he already told me to wait for, and instead of being patient and doing something productive while I wait, I’m being an annoying, little fart, upset because His timetable isn’t mine.

I feel ashamed and self-important, but I also can laugh at myself for another one of God’s ironies landing right on the doorstep of my consciousness as a wake up call.

“Get over yourself, Girl, and get some work done while you wait!”

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