I have to admit that patience is something I struggle with everyday. With 3 little boys, ages 4 and under, it takes all I have to just stay sane without being patient. BUT I want that all to change. I saw something recently that said something to the affect of: “52 weeks to become a better me!” It hit me like a freight train. That is exactly right. A year seems like such a long time, but really it is only 52 weeks. What a short amount of time. I decided right then that I could use the next 52 weeks to learn, or better myself, at the virtue of patience.
I still remember the first time I really yelled at my kids. It was this last summer and the two oldest were running around chasing each other and they ran right into me while I was precariously carrying a glass casserole dish. I almost dropped it! I yelled…no I screamed, at how naughty they were being. Right after yelling, I remember immediately thinking, “Oh no! The windows are open. What if the neighbors heard?!?” What I should have been thinking was, “Oh no! How could I scream at my little boys like that?” From that moment on I knew I needed to change. I have tried little things here and there, but nothing has seemed to stick, until I read about becoming a better me in only 52 weeks. This gives me a little reminder at the end of each week because I always do a mental evaluation, during the weekend, of how the week went.
Well I am happy to report that this week I had a wonderful experience after showing patience. Braxton, age 4, was throwing a stuffed animal ball around in the house. I kept saying, “Please don’t throw that in the house; Something could break or someone could get hurt.” After saying this over and over all morning I heard a very loud crash in the main room while I was preparing lunch. My first thought was, I hope whatever that was didn’t fall on any of the boys. I ran into the room and saw Braxton standing next to a broken vinyl tile that Kevin and I received for our wedding from a very dear friend. I looked at Braxton and before saying or doing anything, I took a very deep breath. During this breath I reminded myself that I had just been scared that one of the boys could have be hurt. I let out that very big breath and looked at Braxton.
He immediately said, “I’m so sorry Mom.”
I got down on my knees at his eye level, took his 2 little hands in mine and said, “Braxton remember I said that throwing balls in the house could break something or get someone hurt. What if that had landed on baby Tim? That would really hurt him.”
Braxton apologized again and said pointing at the tile, “Can you fix that?” I explained that it was broken and we probably just needed to throw it away. He looked at me after about 30 seconds and said, “Maybe when I am Dad’s age I can glue that together for you?” All angry or disappointment I had immediately disappeared and my heart was softened. I realized at that very moment that patience has a special divine power tied to it. IF I would have raised my voice at Braxton and sent him to time out, like I wanted to do, I would have missed being able to witness my little boy’s sweet spirit trying the best that he could do to right his wrong. I could tell in his face that he was thinking very hard on what he could do to fix his mistake. Wait, isn’t that what I have been trying to teach my children all along? We all have mistakes, but the best we can do is figure out how to fix those mistakes. That is exactly what I am trying to do; I am trying to fix my lack of patience.
I have to admit that my week hasn’t been full of patience, but I am trying my very best to become a better me in 52 weeks. I will keep you updated from time to time on how or if I am progressing. I would love to hear about what you are doing to become a better you in 52 weeks. . .