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We've arrived for dance pictures. Daddy is working so on this excursion I have all four girls.
Three of them will be having their pictures taken and the 21 month old is along for the ride. We will be here from approximately 11am to 2 pm.
I have 5 costumes slung over my arm and a bag containing five pairs of dance shoes, hair pieces, accessories, bobby pins, hair spray, a comb, hair bands, makeup (I'm not a fan of putting makeup on a four year old--but this is showbiz--and fodder for a completely unrelated blog post so we won't go there today.) snacks, a diaper, and some wipes.
I'm busy slicking hair back. The baby is running down the hall. I just zipped someone into their costume 5 minutes ago and now they have to go to the bathroom. "Potato" poked her eye yesterday and it is flaming red today (great timing). A mom across the room thinks out loud, You are so calm. How do you stay so calm? I would be pulling my hair out.
I've mastered the art of looking calm on the outside, I tell her with a laugh.
I am a patient person. My patience has been cultivated. It's something that I have to work on. Four children later, my patience has grown exponentially. For me it is about remaining present. Living in the present moment. Not really thinking about what I have done, what I need to do, But rather laser focused on the present moment and task at hand.
I've had this post on my calender for a week or so now. As I turned it over in my mind I had visions of sharing some great tips and tricks for how to cultivate patience--how to capture the elusive calm that I somehow seem to have successfully cornered amidst the chaos of my daily life.
But, to tell you truth, my patience has been worn tissue paper thin over the last week. I need to be honest with you--this week I would feel like a complete hypocrite if I tried to give you tips and tricks for cultivating patience, as I have, literally, gone berserk over the last three days. I don't know if it's the full moon that has been waxing to its culmination tonight, or the fact that I actually, confidently, considered writing a post about "Patient Parenting" that I got my knock on the head this week.
The girls had me out of my skin today. I don't even know what set me off--I think it was something about not wanting to eat what I made for dinner for the tenth day in a row. On top of that, a morning war with my oldest over what to wear for school. On top of that, a jealous and tearful whining fit from two of the girls yesterday evening over something insignificant. On top of that general mouthiness. On top of that the 21 month old has reached the "biting" phase (thankfully she hasn't bitten me yet!). I swear I strained a vocal chord today and--
I left the house.
I admit it. I walked out on my kids. Now, before you call CYS, I didn't really leave my children. I did tell them I was leaving and I didn't go anywhere. I walked out the door, shut it behind me, and walked to the backyard. I walked a few feet into the woods on our lot and I breathed. I just stood there and filled my lungs with fresh air. I breathed out the fire that was raging in my chest. I breathed out my anger. I breathed out that black seething.
And then I laughed. I looked up at the blue sky and laughed.
Whatever in the world made me think to write a post about Patient Parenting today?
There are times when I feel that I can hear God talking to me. I had a moment of crystal clarity at the edge of the woods today: You had to write a post about patience today so that you would be focused on PATIENCE. And then your lack of patience would be all the more apparent to you. Have you been living in the present moment lately? Many moms have looked at you with admiration--envy--whatever it may be--because of your 'calm', and in turn you have become complacent about it. It doesn't even strike you that patience is a gift--a Grace! You will write about what it means to be a real mom today because someone--perhaps that woman who has looked at you with admiration--envy--whatever it may be--needs to hear that you are not perfect. No one is.
We all just want to do our best. A moment of weakness, does not have to make us weak.