Monday, September 10, 2012

Wanted: Patience

Someone said I had patience today.


If only they knew…

I can’t stand not getting an email response within 24 hours.  I don’t like sitting in traffic.  And as far as waiting for my computer to boot?  I wonder how many times I’ve been tempted to chuck it out the window.

But this someone and I weren’t talking about traffic or the computer.  We were talking about Sean.

And yes, maybe I do have more patience with him.


It certainly was not something I was born with.  You can ask my mother.  She always said that when they were handing out patience…  Maybe I got impatient waiting in line for patience?

Either way, it’s a virtue I definitely lack…except when it comes to Sean.

Oh sure, I have my moments.  Take last night for instance.  Last night was not one of those nights where you look back and say, “Gosh I’m a great parent!”

No.  It was yelling and screaming and utterly failing to understand.

It was frustration.

It was as far from being patient as I could have ever been.

But we all lose it sometimes, don’t we?

My patience was molded over time…over necessity.  When your kid is having a total meltdown in the middle of the parking lot or the store or just as you were about to head out the door, you have no choice but to stop and wait.  There is little else you can do.

Rushing about…stimulating your child even more…is simply futile.

And thus, you wait.  And you speak in calm tones.  And you try one thing after another, after another.

And it can take two minutes or two hours…maybe even three.

You just never know.

Patience is not something that is gently given to you but rather shoved into your hands and added to your little bag of tricks to help you cope with your child and his or her ever-changing needs and challenges.

It’s gained at that moment when you learn that fighting against the meltdown (I hate the word “tantrum”), against the texture sensitivities, against the hand-flapping and every thing else is a fight that you can’t win.

It’s learning…

Learning that it takes years before your child may notice someone when they walk into the room.

Years before they can dress themselves…and even then you still have to remind them that the tags – if they still exist – go in the back.

Years working on washing hands, using soap, tying shoes, crossing the street, saying “Hi”…

And then there’s school work…writing, adding, reading…

What about getting on the bus or even recognizing their teachers?

It’s all so much and it all takes time…lots and lots of time.

So if my patience wears a little thin every now and then it’s because I only had so much allotted for that day and it probably got depleted by the time breakfast was over.

Yea, patience…you may think I have it…

And I think I never have enough.

1 comment:

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    The Autism Community:
    James Kaufman, Editor