Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Little Patience Goes A Long Way

I guess it's been awhile.

My entire life as a father has consisted of two philosophies: keep my children safe and teach them everything I can. I've done a fairly good job of keeping them safe; minor exception of my youngest being attacked by a swarm of hornets or when she fell off the couch and busted her head on the fireplace - which the panicked phone call to the Wifey consisted of  "Blood. So much blood," followed by silence.

The teaching part I am still learning. There are a lot of things that I have to defer to the internet and the powers of YouTube. There are also a lot of things that I defer to their mother. Mostly because she is better at explaining things and she exudes more patience.

In my 6 years of being a dad, being patient is something I always tell my daughters to do. They need things done immediately or they want to do something at this very moment and I will always respond with a sharp "just wait!" But patience is something that instead of teaching my daughters, I should ultimately learn from them.

I should learn from my oldest daughter as she takes her time reading each and every word, ingraining the spelling into her brain. I should watch her eyes and finger trace the outline of each letter, memorizing which way the belly sticks out on the letter b or d. I need to appreciate the sloth-like reaction when I tell my youngest she needs to get out of bed as she clings onto the sheets a little tighter.

I need to take a step back and appreciate everything - I am much too quick to take away their screen time or a treat because I am not instantly gratified. Maybe it's the old Asian in me where I just have such high expectations for them to act normally and appropriately. I fail to recognize that they are acting normally and appropriately: they are just being kids. Kids scream and yell and do crazy things and speak in a weird accent. I guess I haven't realized that in the thick of things, they both just want to do right by me; it just takes them a little longer than I want.

I could learn some patience from my children. It's something I need to exercise with my wife. I am so quick to get angry or be annoyed rather than take the time to appreciate the little things that she has done for myself and for our family. She just wants to do right by me and I just need the patience to appreciate everything.

This 2017 is about taking a step back and realizing it's okay to be a little late. It's ok to be a kid and it's always okay to love a little longer.

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