One of the most challenging virtues I believe is patience. As a typically organised person (not my house mind you) but my life and my kids lives are fairly organised. I have Google calendars set up with their appointments and reminders to help me remember. I like to have things checked off my check-list and completed. This is all ok, until I hit the following roadblocks:
- waiting lists for paediatricians that are six months long and appointments aren't made until a month in advance
- getting three weeks notice for appointments in Perth (living in the country can drive you crazy)
- not being able to figure out what's wrong
- waiting for that next appointment
- having to trust that your child will be ok at school or will he and is it ok if he is not
- waiting for funding applications for school assistance
- relying on other people to do a job and to do it their way not necessarily how you would do it
- asking someone to help and they forget or don't turn up
Recently I realised my stress levels were a little high, how did I tell that I wasn't coping? Me a person who has a spot for her keys, my wallet goes into my bag and everything has it's place. I lost my keys twice completely for a day at a time, then I lost my wallet twice all in one week. I really had no idea where I had lost them and I was too exhausted to search effectively.
So I am thinking of what words mean for me and their alternative meanings as a parent for example
wait: is to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens. Or I think alternatively: that frustrating process that involves doing absolutely nothing until FINALLY the day comes for... the appointment, the letter of approved funding.. that email comes.
patience: is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. Patience to me can be allusive a quality of something I would strive to be, that I choose to push down the antsy feeling that can overwhelm me while waiting ( the frustrating process that involves doing absolutely nothing.)
trust is a reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. This is possibility the most difficult, trust can mean three things entrusting your child to be looked after by someone else who you are not really sure they understand or know your child ; or choosing to leave your child in the care of someone else you really don't think has a clue; or what I would prefer leaving your child in the care of someone who may not not everything about your child or their diagnosis but you are confident they are willing to understand and to learn more.
It comes down to something more having confidence or placing your confidence (having strong belief or full assurance) in your child, in the teacher, in the therapist, in the process. This can be supported by those around you providing evidence to why you should be placing your confidence in them, the process, your child. Maybe I would love to be in control of everything just sometimes. Is that beneficial for me, not likely, could it be too much for me, most definitely. What could my child me missing out on because I want to have more control over the details over what they experience, a lot. That person who we are struggling to trust can be a person who can bring change and growth in a positive way even if we might think it is negative at the time.
I firmly believe for any parent trusting in others is part of the journey of giving your child opportunities to grow and learn and experience life so that when they are older and ready to leave home (I can't see this closely right now.. it's SOO far away). They will be resilient and strong or the contrary, what we do in this season and the choices we make will affect this process and the formation of their character and strengths.
On a Christian note (feel free to stop reading if you feel this does not apply to you) there is another level to trust and confidence. Trust also means a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust. When I find myself in the frustrating process of waiting of trusting their is another dimension. I know that I can trust in God also, take my worries to him in prayer and trust that he can watch over my children wherever they go and that all things can work together for good. This is something that I need to make a conscious decision to do, it is too easy to forget the resource of prayer and trust in God, this can truly be the challenge!
If you still feel that you are worrying I found this article helpful. I may not be able to stop worrying but how about I do it constructively?? this in the next post!