Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Patience

Is a virtue. That I largely lack.

If taking Disciple Bible Class all year long (up to 10 months) and making that 3-hour commitment to go to class on Sundays, and doing all that reading, does nothing else, it will give me more patience. But I hate learning to be patient! I thought I obtained a sufficient amount of patience simply by being a parent the last 15+ years.

I sense others in the class feel the same sense of sacrifice, the same restlessness and readiness to depart as soon as possible. We Americans are an impatient, busy bunch of people. It is hard to get this kind of time commitment out of any group, at church or in social life. I belonged to a bunco club, not long ago, that disbanded because it is so difficult to gather 12 women together on the same night for several hours, even to play together.

We don't have much time for each other these days. That goes for neighbors, too. Our newest neighbors (third in the past 15 or so years) moved in and got right to work fixing up their yard and adding on to their house. They did come to our house once, but we never chit-chat. They are not the chatty type. You can sense them mentally looking at their watches as soon as you start up a conversation. So we never see them, unless it's accidentally while running errands.

That is hardly unique to them. It's the American way. Do it all yourself, and don't forget to hurry!

I don't think this is a particularly healthy or sustainable lifestyle. I am trying to unplug from it, myself, just a bit. Not that it's easy with kids.

We have one child, Andrew, who really does not enjoy being gone for this, that, and the other activity. He wanted to quit tennis and Scouts. And do what, dear? Sit at home and play electronic games? That seemed (perhaps) to be the answer, and so he has not quit either activity. But it is really difficult to discern what to do. I sense he would have been so happy playing outside with friends for hours, the way kids used to do. But there's no community structure, outside of the homeschool movement perhaps, that could allow that to happen anymore.

Austin talks about quitting band his senior year (which he's quite good at and enjoys), and quitting tennis any day now because he's not good enough at it. He is certainly entitled to do both, because he has put in a lot of after-school time and commitment with these activities. More, actually, than the after-school time he's spent on all his pre-AP classes put together. (Stop me now before I start ranting about what's wrong with that.) But Dwaine and I still have this letdown feeling that he wants to quit. Dwaine said, "It's dawning on me what is wrong with this picture ... no scholarships!" Ha, ha. But true, too. But who am I to make Austin do two more activities than I ever did throughout high school? By the time he's a senior, I don't think I will be making him do anything. And band is, after all, a full-time job during marching season.

Time to go and pick up the kids to take them to this, that, and the other, after both being in school activities till 5:30 or later!

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to this post. I am bi-polar in this area; admiring some homeschoolers who almost have a homesteading lifestyle - busy but with "real" work of garden/animals/cooking/canning/creating..., versus my own need to socialize and be "busy" and then realizing that none of it is really all that meaningful. Sometimes I feel the need to "organize" some kind of activity so that we can get together with other homeschoolers to make crafts or whatever, only to realize later that it sure was a hassle that we easily could have done without. Ellie is so busy - but both my boys are like Andrew - they would be perfectly happy to never leave the house. Jules recently quit tae kwon do (did start chess club, though) and it really bothered me. I was like, "that is the only thing he does!" but the truth is that he does a lot of things - they are just all at home with his brothers or friends. And when else in his life will he have this luxury? Right now we are pretty much living at dad's. It is a slow pace. And I am drowning in the anxiety of all the other things I should be doing at my house....

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