April 23, 2010

Patience and Maturity

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sometimes I think my youngest was skipped over in the dishing out of patience. It is not his strong suit by any measure. He has always had a short fuse. For many years I was extremely frustrated by this. I think mainly because I was the same way. How do you teach a child how to have patience when you have none yourself?

When I was married, he was the youngest of six children. Unfortunately for him, he was also talked over, ignored, and generally not thought of by most of the other children. In many families, the "baby" is the center of attention, but for him that didn't happen.

Now that I am a single mom again, he is back to being one of three kids. But still the youngest, and sometimes, still the overlooked one by his siblings. I continually remind them that they were like him in many respects when they were his age. Their older step-siblings will attest to their being annoying, clingy, etc. But they don't see it.

They accuse me of having him as my "favorite". But it is not that at all. Each of my children has different strengths and weaknesses. My two older kids have never had much of an issue in confidence. Oh there is the occasional situation where they feel uncomfortable, like most people do, but for the most part, they are confident in who they are, and in their own skin. My youngest is not.

Maybe I feel for him because I was the same way as a child. I never seemed to fit in. Not at home and not at school. He tries so hard to be like his older brother in some ways. He wants to be braver, he wants to be stronger. But ultimately he falls back onto "I can't".

I give him a different kind of attention than I do the other kids, because he has different strengths and weaknesses. He needs more prodding to keep at a task if it is difficult. He needs more encouragement when things don't seem to be going well. He also needs reassurance that he is ok, just the way he is.

Patience is a slow path for him. I pray continually to YHWH that he helps me use what he has taught me in the last few years, to help guide my son. I don't want him to be in his 40's before he figures it out, like I did. But at the same time, I see a quiet maturity coming over him. He is confident in his passions, even if he doesn't share them fully with everyone around him.

As the old saying goes....Slow and steady wins the race. There is no rush to grow up too fast (despite his father constantly telling him to "act his age"...he is, he is 12, or have you forgotten what it is to be 12?), and I would rather be very deliberate in guiding him into his young adulthood, than to do it willy-nilly, with no purpose.

As I do with all my children, I see him becoming a wonderful person. But on his own timeline, not anyone else's. He has a heart of gold, and will ultimately become loved for this, even if he makes mistakes along the way.

I adore my daughter for her confidence, even if sometimes she has to "fake" it to get through. I wish I had been as strong as her in my teens. She is creative, smart, and at times in a little girl way still, adorable....depsite being almost 18.

I adore my older son, who has a passion for history that matches mine. He is a very analytical thinker, and challenges me daily. I see signs of his father in him, and sometimes that worries me. His father is not a bad person, but has some habits I would rather weren't passed down....just as I have habits I would rather not see come out in my kids. He is headstrong, and intelligent beyond what people thought he could be when he was young and struggling to learn to speak.

My youngest is quiet, unsure, and loving. He will come into his own, in his own time. He has YHWH and his mom watching his back and guiding his steps.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, Stephanie!

    Oh, I see so many similarities here! lol

    Hope you have a great weekend, sweet friend!

    Blessings~
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is amazing isn't it?! LOL!

    I hope you have a great weekend too, and don't hurt yourself in the new office chair!

    ReplyDelete

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