On Patience… and little rubber bands

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Two Christmases ago I had the perfect gift idea for my daughter. It was a little plastic loom with bright rubber bands. If you’ve got a gradeschooler, I’m sure you’ve seen them. All the kids in her grade were making rubber band bracelets and necklaces and she’d been given a few and they were so cool, Mom.

I just KNEW this would be the right gift for the right age. Sure enough, Christmas morning she opened the box, squealed with delight… and then lost interest.

Though the box said it was designed for ages 8 +, she was only six (and a half!) and struggled with the little bands. They’d pop off and she’d get frustrated. The directions weren’t helpful to her. When I tried to demonstrate, we’d end up at each other’s throats. It just wasn’t working.

We put it aside. In fact, I almost donated the entire kit recently.

But a friend came over two weeks ago and they were messing around in her room when it got very quiet. I peeked in to see them working together with the loom. Seriously?

The friend taught her what to do and that afternoon, for whatever reason, she got the hang of it.

The box read ages 8 +, but all I could see were other little kids who were completing the task. I blew past the guidelines (who pays attention to those anyway) and found myself frustrated by why this wasn’t working. The gift was for Christmas 2013… not March 2015. I kept wondering what was the matter? She had seemed so excited.

Why did I do that? I know why. Because even though I don’t want to, I compare.

There is no law that states a girl of age six has to be cranking out rainbow bracelets. Her fine motor skills were weaker then and they are stronger now. All that was needed was a little patience.

Patience is a virtue. A virtue I struggle with. And yet parenthood is the continual process of just. being. patient. It’s like God is slowly and steadily chipping away at our pride and plans. I don’t always like it, but there it is. Our timelines are not the “right” timelines.

Comparing is fruitless.

So today let’s all put aside our personal timelines. Whatever thing you or perhaps your kid is struggling with (sports, spelling, folding clothes, yelling), let’s breathe through it together. There’s no law that says situations must be mastered this week. Let’s work on patience today. Comparing, be gone!

On Patience… and little rubber bands