My son, Jesse, had a dentist appointment this morning so he went in to school late today. This morning, I was doing something that I normally do on a weekday: Setting up what articles I would be reading for today. (The articles come from the website, ScienceDaily, as well as anything of interest from TIME or the the L.A. Times. Sometimes I will find articles to read on Facebook or Twitter, as well. I love to read articles about new developments in science and medicine, as well as any news or topics of interest of things going on in the world. I usually share what I read on my personal Twitteraccount and Facebook. I call this time that I take to read articles “research” because a lot of the times I come across info I can use in my books.) I did not have the time to read them just yet but I would read them later when I did have the time. As I was going through the list of article titles, Jesse appeared at my side, asking if I would pour him a bowl of cereal. Yes, I know; at 9, he is perfectly capable of doing that himself. I guess he just wanted me to do that for him, or something. I told him to please wait a few minutes so that I could finish going through this list first then I’d pour his cereal for him. He waited a little bit but I guess he was too hungry to wait longer so he did it himself.
I was not happy. I should have been, because he was doing something he was perfectly capable of doing himself, but I was irritated that he lost his patience with me. And I let him know that it bothered me that he changed his mind about waiting for me. The kids often lose their patience with me and so that has been an ongoing thing I have tried to fix with them. It IS important for people to have patience with others!
Later, as I was cooking breakfast, I began stewing over how this has happened with other people, too. They either get tired of waiting for me, lose their patience with me, or they give up on me and decide I’m no longer worth it and go on to do other things. I might as well start telling people that if they are NOT willing to wait until I can do what they need me to do, then don’t waste my time even asking. Just look for someone who can give you what you want RIGHT NOW.
But I also thought about how I let Jesse know that it bothered me that he wouldn’t wait for me. Would my words have any impact? Would he think about what I said?
I soon found out because he asked me to go somewhere to see something. I told him I couldn’t right now because I was busy cooking, but that I would look at it when I was done. He walked off to another room. As I finished cooking, I wondered if he would wait. But then again, I didn’t really expect much to come out of that. If you don’t expect anything from people, then you won’t be disappointed when they don’t do anything! That is my philosophy! Expect nothing and avoid disappointment when nothing happens!
But, it didn’t turn out that way this time. When I was able to step away from the stove, I asked Jesse what he wanted to show me. Guess what? He still showed me what he had wanted to show me earlier. He. Had. Waited! Awesome!
I thanked Jesse for his patience and I also said it was nice of him to wait until I was available to give him my full attention. And, you know, it really was. Hopefully, he’ll start to be more patient! (And recognize that he can just go ahead and do the things he can do if someone is too busy to do them for him.)