Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Waiting

"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"Just give me a minute to finish this; then I'll get you one."
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
 "What did I just say?  Yes, when I've finished doing what I'm doing."
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"I heard you the first five times, OK?  Ten more seconds."
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"Mum, can I have a drink please?"
"Mum, I want a driiiiink!  Nooooowwwww!"

No, patient waiting is most definitely not a natural human attribute!  Most of us gradually learn to control our toddler tendencies to kick and scream if something hasn't arrived by the time we finish our sentence, but we still aren't often that good at waiting.  Especially if we don't know why there's a delay, can't see why there has to be a delay, and have three other places to be by five o'clock and really, this was the last thing we needed on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.  Don't they know how important our time is???

But, hard as waiting is for us, I think we all recognise that it's a valuable thing to learn.  Sure, I'm a fallible mother.  Sometimes I keep my kid waiting just because I can't be bothered to get off the sofa.  But on my better days...

I want him to learn that other people have needs and desires that are just as important as his own.  So I finish what I need to do before attending to what he wants.

I want him to learn not to be selfish and demanding.  So I don't jump to fulfil his every whim at the first time of asking.

I want him to learn patience and self-control.  So he gets to eat dinner when everyone's ready to eat, not just when he's ready.

And I want him to learn that sometimes, waiting makes a moment even more special.  So that pile of presents is staying tantalisingly under the tree until Christmas Day.

It will be said on that day,
    “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
    This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Isaiah 25:9

No comments: