“Charity suffereth long…” (1 Corinthians 13)
Patience is letting you stop to smell the gardenias,
to feel the grassy-sweet summer rain
on your way in from a barefoot walk in the park,
footfalls muted by the sounds of the twilight bark.*
Patience is taking the time for time-outs
when a swat would be quicker;
patience is hugging away a hurt,
though dishes and laundry call to be first.
Patience is having to change a poopy at the last minute,
and for peeing between changes;
patience is wiping a hand covered with sticky,
only to see you’ve wiped your head already.
Patience is waiting for you to take off your shoes,
put on your dress, and use a spoon—
wooden for the cake batter,
pink’n miniature for you.
Patience is playing 32-crayon pick up with little savvy,
and lost and found (and lost again) with paccie;
patience is waiting for you to go potty,
and to eat your food before it goes all rotty.
Patience is drawing Minnie Mouse a 100 times on your hand,
reading Minnie stories 100 times more;
patience is performing graffiti tattoo removal
on our walls and doors.
Patience is letting the theme to “Wings”
play once more because you like the music;
patience is all the times we’ve had to hit pause
for your love of percussion acoustics.
Patience is teaching you words from books and memory,
and to unlearn the salty language from grandparents;
patience is helping you bridge 5 and 7,
V and X, bringing you to Z and 11.
Patience is brushing your teeth when you bite down;
patience is letting you get clean
while the house gets dirty;
patience is barricading the kitchen
for its own protection.
Patience is needing myself when you need me;
patience is, sometimes, putting it all away,
for there is time enough to finish another day.
Patience is knowing you will do things in your own time,
enjoying the person you are today,
as you will never be this person again in just this way.
Patience, in motherhood minutes,
is well spent.
*“Indeed, twilight has sometimes been called “Dogs’ Barking Time.” Busy town dogs bark less than country dogs, but all dogs know all about the Twilight Barking. It is their way of keeping in touch with distant friends, passing on important news, enjoying a good gossip.”
— Dodie Smith, “The Hundred and One Dalmatians”