The other day, I walked into my bedroom and was greeted by Arial; Isla's latest addition to her collection of inanimate objects. She quickly hit alt+tab in an attempt to escape her Facebook account, but I wasn't fooled by her deceptive ways. "Ricky!" I called... "Get in here! I just found out who keeps messing up my computer and you are NOT gonna believe this!"
My daughter has an exceptionally creative imagination. More often than not, I will wake to find three of her fictitious friends sitting around the kitchen table enjoying a chin-full of cookie dust, clumsily poured milk and a few half-eaten bananas. The "scene" usually involves a shopping cart and an enormous amount of toilet paper, but thankfully... they are a quite group of ladies who rarely desire my assistance. In the old days (i.e., pre-patience), I would have flipped out at the thought of having to clean up their mess, but this new and improved OCD mother will step over a plastic hot dog as if it never existed and casually reach for the coffee, laughing all the way. Okay... perhaps that was a slight exaggeration, but YOU get the gist?!
Patience is a skill, not something that you can pull out on a whim. It is a carefully crafted skill that takes years (in some cases, a lifetime!) to perfect, and I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of having children that they start taking classes immediately. At least once a week, I stumble across a parent who is fairly close to losing it. I stand back and watch in horror as the vein from their forehead begins to bulge and extend down to either side of their temple, "I told you to get in the car!" they scream, while looking up at me with one of those tight-lipped smiles. I know the smile well. "Take a deep breath," I'll advise (another skill handed down from my mother), "They'll be out of the house before you know it!" We laugh, both knowing it's true... which is usually all it takes to remind them not to take their battle so seriously.
I'm glad I waited so long to have my daughter... it gave me time to get closure on my own life and let go of all my baggage, so that I can raise her in a healthy environment and enjoy this time with her. Sometimes I think about how much easier it would have been if I would have had her when I was ten years younger, but then I stumble across another young mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I thank my lucky stars. Life is short and the answer is simple; sometimes a "mirror" is all you really need to find inner peace… but they're sorta pointless if you never look in them.