Patience is a two way virtue. You teach it and if you’re lucky, you learn it too. We experienced it in action last week. We sat down with the children to do a Father’s Day craft, cleverly orchestrated by the craft lady, “Miss Dawn”. They decorated funny little sports cars and colored a beautiful Father’s Day card worthy of Hallmark. I’ve never heard a group of children so silent. Their total concentration on getting what they were doing absolutely right for their dads was moving. Bent heads, tongues stuck out between teeth and complete attention to coloring within the lines were the order of the day.
One little boy had a “Magic Marker Malfunction”. He was almost done with his dad’s card. He was the last child left and we were just about ready to wrap up the session and go home, when the blue magic marker he was using bled all over his masterpiece. He’s a quiet child so he didn’t make a fuss, but we saw what had happened and asked him if he wanted to start over again. He said “yes”, so we handed him a clean card and settled in because he is the most meticulous of all the children. We knew we were in for a wait.
We didn’t mind however, because we knew how much that card meant to him. The front of the card had many, many little details to be covered and he didn’t miss a one. We figured if he could be that patient, so could we. It was actually a pleasure to see a young child who was willing to do the work all over again to make sure his daddy had a beautiful card, rather than saying, “Oh forget it. It’s too hard”, or, just slapping some colors on and calling it done.
Sometimes, the activity you have planned doesn’t end at the time prescribed. Sometimes it shouldn’t. This was one of those times. What we had to do with our very important lives could wait. After all, we had a lesson to learn.