This post is inspired by Sarah at For the Love of Naps’ post about Finding JOY during a car appointment gone bad.
She wrote about a quick oil change appointment turning into 4ish hours of waiting with 2 kids at a car dealership, and having the best of her come out, with patience arriving from places she didn’t know existed.
The post really struck a chord with me because I almost felt like I could have written it myself. We spent pretty much two full weekends in October hunting for a new (to us) car for my hubby, and I spent a lot of time in car dealership waiting rooms with the kids.
Some dealerships had toys, which was fan-freaking-tastic, but my kids actually spent a half hour or more playing with a fire hydrant outside of one, pretending it had hoses and they were putting out fires! I admit that I did a little bit of e-mail checking and Tweeting from my phone, but it was actually nice to just sit and focus on my kids, with nothing else to do.
After the first dealership, I made sure I had some ones in my purse for
bribes snacks from the snack machines when the going got a little tough (hee hee!) Aside from a few moments, the kids were actually quite good and quite patient, and sometimes I think their behavior is a reflection of my attitude. When I’m exasperated & short, they act up, making me more exasperated and short with them. When I can find that patience from places I didn’t know existed ( 😀 ) they tend to be better behaved.
While I was very glad when the car purchase was done, I missed being able to sit and watch my kids, and just drink the moment in. When I’m at home, I’m stressed about a long list of things I need to do. I’ve tried really hard to let things go, but it’s just not in my nature. When I started writing lists, I was able to stop obsessing quite as much, but I still tend to constantly be thinking about laundry, dishes, trash, bills, vacuuming, mopping, etc. etc. It is very, very difficult for me to just sit and play with my kids, even when making a conscious effort to focus on only them, and not the 10,000 things I need to be doing.
I think this is why I really enjoy taking them to the park. Even though it’s only recently become slightly less stressful (trying to keep my eyes on both kids & keep my son from getting hurt since he’s still pretty little), they are just so full of excitement, and the dishes are too far to call my name!!
I’ve told myself time and time again that I am not going to look back on my children’s childhoods and think “Gee, I wish I had done more laundry!” Sometimes I feel like I am wishing my kids’ childhoods away when I am overwhelmed and counting the minutes until bedtime. Thank you Sarah for reminding me to find the joy in the little things!
They say that moving and divorce are two of the most stressful life events, but I’m convinced that buying a new car belongs somewhere on that list too. It is the worst–so much waiting around! It’s nice that you were able to find an upside to that in spending more time with your kids. You’re so right, it’s those little moments that add up to good childhood memories.