One of my favorite retorts as a child, when an adult would remind me that patience is a virtue, was to stubbornly accept that statement as true, but also point out that patience may be a virtue but “it is not a virtue of mine.”
It’s not in my nature to wait or to simply wait patiently. It is possible – I think. I teach preschoolers who I could describe as patient. But that certainly wasn’t a word anyone would have used to describe me and in the same regard, it is not a word I’d use to describe Lilly.
My sweet mini me is as impatient as they come and as frustrating as that is for me as a parent sometimes, I love that about her. She wants to know right now, she wants to see right now, she wants to go and find out and discover and learn right now. And I always remind myself that it’s not that she’s cranky and whiney. No. It’s the simple fact that her brain is always ten steps ahead of her feet and she’s constantly running to catch up.
Planting our garden is the biggest and most fascinating lesson on patience we could ever give our daughter. Learning about seeds and dirt and worms and sprouts is all well and good. I love that she is enthralled and captivated by each and every teeny tiny green addition to the soil. But what I love most is hearing the dissapointment in her voice each morning as she tells me, “Nope. Nothing is happening in the garden yet, Mom. Still the same as before.” I love hearing that, because I know it comes with a gentle and slow understanding that growing takes time. Growing requires patience (great patience when you are only three).
I hear my words echoed right out of her mouth, trickled down to little sister as she attempts to explain gardening in baby terms.
For now, big sister and Daddy handle all of the interim weeding, the watering, the adjusting. We check the strawberries each morning as they show a little bit faster progress than the “big plants” in the “big garden”. We smell each herb, chew the leaves, talk about cooking. But we wait patiently for the big growing to happen.
Just like we need to wait patiently for everything else.
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis