The Blessing of Waiting

Pink Think: “But if we learn to think of it as anticipation, as learning, as growing, if we think of the time we spend waiting for the big things of life as an opportunity instead of a passing of time, what wonderful horizons open out!” – Anna Neagle

photo from mylalaland

It seems I am always waiting.

Waiting to hear back from someone. Waiting for a child at a music lesson. Waiting to see a teacher at school. Waiting at the fast food line. Waiting to turn left at the traffic signal. Waiting to hear back from an agent. Waiting for my hair to set at the stylist’s.

In this age of instant everything, waiting seems outdated. Inappropriate. The subject of a tirade or an angry letter-to-the-editor.

To me, it can be a blessing.

I am sitting in a high school office waiting to see the assistant principal. I watch a few kids come in and out, in various stages of confidence. Looking physically grown, yet so vulnerable in the way they touch their hair, their tentative walk. I bet their moms make them drink their milk still everyday. And they probably say no, but I hope they are secretly glad someone cares.

A mom comes in with a little boy and a huge balloon bouquet. One balloon in particular draws my attention: it says in bright bold colors, “18”. The mom asks the attendant if she could leave it for her daughter. “It’s a surprise,” she says.

There is something about the mom standing there with her big balloon bouquet that makes my eyes well with tears. It makes me think of my 14 year old, and how she would be 18 someday, too. She was little not too long ago.

“Big day,” I say, pointing to the balloon.

The mom turns and smiles. “Yes. I’ve been balling all morning.”

“I feel like crying just watching you,” I admit, wiping away a tear as I chuckle.

“I don’t know how we survived it,” she says. “When she was a baby, she cried all the time and wouldn’t sleep. But now.”

Yes. I nod. But now. “Children are amazing,” I say.

She waves at me as she leaves, the balloons a rainbow tree over the fax machine.

I wish I could wait a little more to see how her daughter would react to the bouquet, but the assistant principal comes out of his office. My wait is over.

Waiting, to me, is pausing long enough in the marathon that is life and paying attention to its exquisite details. It’s catching my breath between the rushing and the hurrying. When I just let myself be, I can discover amazing things.

I love waiting. Do you?

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