Picture of Janet


“I Like It When You Smile at Me”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are a million reasons to lose patience, especially if you are so inclined.

Which I might be.

My youngest son has taken to describing me as “debilitatingly impatient”.

I cannot in all honestly, deny his accusations, though the ‘debilitating’ part does sting a bit and I am wondering if I have gotten worse or he’s just old enough to see it. I do think he believes he is referring to the psychological impact of my impatience, because in the practical, I am freaking amazing.

I might be the fastest self check-out person you could shop with. 
When they made scanning guns available, it was like they saw me coming and got out of my way.  Because they KNEW how imperative it was for me to save those thirty seconds that I would have had to spend picking up each item and then putting it back in my cart. 

In the car? I’d drive 100 mile an hour if I could get away with it. (I already lied my way out of the last speeding ticket. Feeling guilty and being a confessing, believing, dependent-on-God-and-loving-Him Christian did not prevent me from doing so.  I planned, executed, and played the lie, speeding to the police station and back. Unfortunately I’d probably do it again if God let me replay the moment. )

Yes. I realize that is very bad.

I had reason. I didn’t have time for Defensive Driving. I can no longer prevail upon the aforementioned son or the other one who is polite enough to only mumble under his breath how impatient I am to save me time and take the damned online driving test. Which is a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.

So what’s happened that’s made me increasingly inpatient, when in my later, more wise years I should be stopping and smelling every rose I pass?

I am not completely sure why, but along with the prospect of utter debilitation IF one believed their son, it has also affected how I treat my Mother. 

If there was ever place where a daughter should capitalize on the soft, quiet, slow times in life, it would be this time, this place, with her.

We all know that just because you know you should or shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean we do or don’t. (See above confession on lies, speed, and sin.)

I was laying in bed the other early morning, thinking that Josh was probably right and debilitatingly impatient wasn’t  doing anyone any good, not even me.  However, I don’t go down easy and in talking to God regaled Him on reasons why I had good reason.

It did not do any good.

He just kept on pricking me, putting thoughts all in my head that really didn’t displace the well set it impatience that colors every single thing I do, but in that way I count supernatural, sort of squeezed in, pushing up and around, until I began to have thoughts like, well, maybe I should slow down a bit and take my time and give what I spend to those around me…

Not really making a plan for execution of practiced patience, this morning I walked into Mother’s room, her morning pills in hand, sat down near her bed and looked at her. 

I didn’t get up or say I had something pressing to do. 

And then, cocking her head a bit like an inquisitive birds, she said:

“I love it when you smile at me.” 

I didn’t really want to think about it, but pretty certain the reason she made the comment was because she’d not seen that on my face in the most recent past.

Smiles, real ones, that come from something that science doesn’t have the tools to measure had bubbled up in me. The knowledge that adult sons wisdom, bounded by love and truth and right and a certain kind of joy and unexplained peace filled my heart. 

Mother smiled back.

I was a little bit less impatient today …partly evidenced by the lack of necessity for fear of a speeding ticket on my way to Walmart.

You, however, still want me at the checkout lane…


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