Daring Myself To Be Patient.

Love is patient. I can’t think of many truer statements except maybe something like “chocolate is life.” Or “Sleep is awesome,” but “love is patient” is up there. I have a soft spot for the cliche and the verse that it comes from.  Brian and I used it in our wedding and we later scooped up this plaque when we saw it at a garage sale or a thrift store, I can’t remember. I hung it in the bathroom and it makes me happy.

Sometimes, I stare at it angrily when I’m arguing with Brian (as couples do) and I remind myself that I actually agree with its sentiments, haha. But, generally, it makes me happy.

Dare 2 was to write down the words “Love Is Patient” on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere where I will see it like the fridge or the bathroom mirror. I opted for the fridge.

(If you’d like to read about Dare 1, here you go! http://www.the5parkers.com/2017/09/daring-myself-to-love-my-son.html)

I was worried that I wouldn’t notice it there and that it wouldn’t make any difference. But, I have to say that even though I didn’t actively look at it today, I do feel more patient. Just writing it had an effect and that’s pretty cool.

I debated whether to tell the kids why it was there. Honestly, I was afraid that William would use it against me when I inevitably lost my patience.  But, still I did feel more patient. And I even obnoxiously start reciting the whole verse (or what I remembered of it) when Antwan and William were bickering about something on the xbox. They half paid attention but I would be lying if I said that they stopped arguing and gave each other a big hug! But, hey, it did slow them down a bit while they tried to figure out what the heck I was doing and they dropped the topic a few minutes later so that’s something!

I can think of several moments when remembering the dare helped me keep my cool. But, unfortunately, I can remember just as vividly when I forgot all about the dare and fought with William.  He was feeling just as not-patient as I was so it was not pleasant.  But, it’s over now. After he had finally gone to bed, I went into the kitchen to get a comfort soda. That’s when I saw the sign.  And I was sad. Really, really sad.

It stinks how one failure can make you feel like a complete failure. All the positive thoughts in your head and all your plans just go up in smoke when you are involved in a yelling match with your son after a long day. Nothing that we were arguing about even mattered.  And most of it was me telling him to stop arguing and him angrily declining the suggestion and then me knowing that I shouldn’t get sucked in, but then putting on my swimcap and diving on in, head first. (But, it’s hard to stop going back in when I can hear large items hitting his bedroom walls, sigh.)

But, it doesn’t matter. I’m the adult and it’s ultimately up to me. 

What have I learned?  I don’t know.  I guess that it’s a learning process. And that it’s never too late.

Kaleb is proof of that. I used to think that we would be at odds forever and that I would never truly feel close to him. But, that is just not the case anymore, we are in a good place.

And when Kaleb came home that night, he asked how my night was and I said “Not great.” I then explained that William and I had gotten into it.

Kaleb – “Well, he might have deserved it.”

Me – “Oh, he definitely deserved it, but I’m mad at myself for losing my temper and yelling.”

Kaleb – “Sometimes you have to yell at your kids because they can be so rude. If they weren’t rude, you wouldn’t yell. Personally, I find you to be quite nice when you’re well fed or when no one’s being rude to you.”

So there you go! I am quite nice!  I know I shouldn’t take parenting advice from a 17 year old but I will because I liked what he had to say. haha. I’ll have to work more on that pesky patience thing; but Kaleb reminded me that it’s ok to be human, that I’m not completely awful, and maybe most importantly, that I need to keep my belly full! 😉

 

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