Tuesday, October 15, 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013." Che and Fidel.

Cohen: Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth... ehum.
Emerson: Little bruiser.

I never thought patience was something that could be taught, and yet I find I am learning it from my children. And  not because they're patient, but because they teach me how to be patient. Before I had children, I thought of myself as being a patient person. Since having children, I often wonder if I could ever have enough patience! When the children intentionally provoke each other, when Cohen is being defiant and won't eat his dinner, when he plays roughly with Emerson and hurts her, or continually asks me questions when I am on the phone, or one hundred other moments in a day, I feel my patience tested. And while patience is elastic and springs back remarkably quickly once tested, prolonged pressure can cause even the most patient person to snap. That's when I wonder how deep my patience reserves run. However, I have also realised that I have a measure of patience that I didn't have prior to having children, which relates to pace. Specifically to slowing down. It's much easier to have patience if you move at the speed of your children. I moved at a much faster pace pre-children and I am tempted at times to return to my previous gait. But, when I am rushed and trying to speed up my children, I am guaranteed to run out of patience. While it's not always possible to slow down the pace, when it is, I find patience is more abundant. (And I am quite sure more children move slower than usual when they sense urgency in my voice...)

Lately, Emerson has been asserting her will in order to walk everywhere. Little toddler steps to the park, with lots of pauses to examine seed pods, rocks and sticks. Or one little hand in mine, and one in Cohen's, she will walk around the shops. She will even walk very slowly down the three flights of stairs at the library, as I patiently hold her hand. It's such a wonderful way for her to experience the world around her. When Cohen was this age I may well have gotten impatient half way down the stairs and picked him up, as I was so used to moving at a faster speed. Now, Emerson and I both beamed with pride as we reached the last step.

And while it is still frustrating at times, I am endeavoring to slow down as much as possible and let Emerson set the pace - and marvel and the things our children teach us.
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