a necessary dose of perspective


some days, instead of working out, i like to sit at one of the tables and write for an hour, completely taking advantage of the free child care. this morning, while i was mindlessly surfing pinterest brainstorming, a group of young autistic guys, probably around the ages of 13-18, came into the area where i was seated.

they were all dressed in swimming trunks and excited. and loud. one of the young men kept yelling 'goddammit' every couple of minutes for no apparent reason. another guy dropped his bright yellow swim trunks, proudly showcasing his ass and other... things. he laughed hysterically about it before being forced to pull them up. a rather skinny fellow, who looked to be one of the younger ones of the group, kept walking in circles on his tip toes with his fingers in his ears, accusing everyone of being annoying. one boy kept rattling off statistics about the pool's chlorine and chemical levels. the teachers were standing their ground, blocking all of the exits, each seemingly assigned to one specific boy. about every forty seconds one of the kids would lunge for the exit only to be stopped by whoever was guarding it. it was controlled chaos and extremely entertaining.

as i sat there, not once did i hear one of the teachers lose their patience. not once did they raise their voices or get aggravated at the kids behavior. not once did they talk down to or discourage any of them. (well, except for the showcasing of the ass and other stuff. that was handled promptly, which i was very thankful for.)

i found myself in total awe. how do they do that? and they choose to do it, too? i'm no where near that patient. i'm awfully embarrassed when i recall how many times i've lost my patience with marlo for such silly reasons. i've yelled. i've snatched things from her. i've found myself wanting to throw things at the wall. i've broken down and cried in front of her because there was nothing left for me to do.

i guess the point of this very wordy story (sorry about that!) is that i got a much needed dose of perspective from those boys and teachers. i'm not perfect and i'm so very far from being the kind of mother that i want to be. but i know that i try my hardest every single day to do my best. some days my best isn't very good and this week was full of moments where that was blindingly obvious. but, i just keep trying.

changing bad habits takes time. a lot of time. parenthood isn't an instant formula for how to be the best version of you. i mean, clearly. i'm walking evidence of that. but if i take it one day at a time, i can get a little better, a little more patient, and hopefully, a little less frustrated at such silly things.

so, next week, my only goal for the week is to work on my patience. i have a list of 317 things to do, but being more patient with marlo is my only actual goal. and those teachers, those amazing, amazing teachers? they are my inspiration.



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