I was at a store by myself and had only four items so I found myself 3rd in line in the quick lane: 10 items or less. But we weren't moving forward as quickly as I thought I expected. I observed the cashier and quickly determined that he was a young man with some mental challenges.
He had called over his manager because the customer was using a coupon and he needed the manager's secret code. I've worked in retail. I totally caught this vibe from the manager which was, "My guy isn't moving fast enough for the 10 items or less line; I'll stay here and help him move along. After all, the customers want speed, speed, speed." I grew annoyed at watching the manager actually press buttons on the register for him, I guess because he wasn't super fast, as if she was providing the customer in front of me with superior customer care. Actually, it irked me. Let the guy do his job himself - how else will he learn? We are all in no rush. We don't mind. But I guess maybe some customers do mind and are in a rush and this manager really is doing something a customer like that would appreciate.
I was thinking to myself that I don't need to move to another lane; I am a great customer for this guy. I will be patient, understanding. I will wait for him to speak to me first so I will not give any indication that I am in a rush. I will let him take my cash into his hand the peculiar way he needs to do it in order to do his job his way. I will not reach too quickly for my change because his hand is moving too slowly towards mine. This is a learning experience for him and I will make his experience with me a good learning experience. He will be in control of directing our exchange. I'm in no rush. I've got nothing to prove to this guy or his manager except that I support this guy.
Of course I'm like that. I'm a teacher.
And a mother.
I walked out of the store to my car actually gloating about what a good customer I was for that guy because I was so patient and pleasant and then it hit me...
I could be more patient. At home I definitely could be more patient. And understanding. I need to remember that the way my children do things is their personal way of learning and experiencing things that are important to them.
Take this picture for example.
Did I wish they posed differently? At first, yes. But then I realized that those smiles are sincere. Luna's pose is very meaningful in whatever she is trying to communicate which I think is, "We are posing, right?" And above all, there is tremendous joy among my children for what they accomplished - getting their picture taken. So, for this simple reason (my kids deserve joy), I will be patient this holiday season. Patient with everyone. And that tree in the background...
Every day there are a dozen ornaments strewn about my house. Have you ever had a 2 1/2 year old and a Christmas tree in the same house? It's like introducing a new game called Decorate Tree and it comes with 200 shiny sparkly playing pieces. And if you think that a 2 1/2 year old can play a game with many small pieces (like Mousetrap, for example) the correct way by following the directions and only using the pieces for what they were intended and keeping all of the said pieces on the game board, well, I guess you haven't ever had a 2 1/2 year old in your house.
Patience, my friends, patience.
My 2011 holiday mantra: Patience = Joy