My Mother’s Thoughts about WIO

My mom writes for a local publication back in my homestate. She just wrote this article for the week.

“Wait It Out”

Back as a very young child, I clearly remember having frightening dreams which would wake me, terrified, in the middle of the night. I would scream and cry, and my mother would rush in to quiet me down as my father would begin his loud even more frightening “I have to sleep! I have to get up for work tomorrow!” rant from in their bedroom. This terrified me even more and made me feel as if I was just in the way of my parents’ lives.

As a parent myself, I held my children “too much” according to my friends and family. I “gave in” to their crying when they were infants and even toddlers before they could explain their needs. I was “allowing them to rule me”. But who could just stand by while an innocent child was obviously upset and needing comfort? There is a good reason that the crying of a baby is disturbing to most of us… preservation of our species.

To this day I offer to hold babies when I hear them doing those heart wrenching sobbing cries in the super market basket as their mom shops or is attempting to corral an older child, or casually chatting with a friend.

My youngest child, Sarah, is the one of my three children who has seen fit to have children. Lisa and Tim are having fun being Auntie Lisa and Uncome Tim. (The first of the now three grandchildren, could not pronounce “uncle” so it has been uncome ever since.)

Sarah recently received a shipment of stretchy blue rubbery bracelets with “I Can Wait It Out” printed upon them in white letters, and this morning I saw one clearly on her wrist in a Face Book photograph of her holding a small watermelon out in her amazing garden. It got me thinking.

If you Google “Wait It Out”, her “Nurshable” site is the first you will see, and I encourage anyone who is expecting a baby in the family to check it out for many amazing insights and feedback from Sarah and other readers who are in the throes of new parenthood.

Of course, new parenthood is not the only time we need to realize that we are capable of waiting out some life situation in which there is nothing humanly possible we can do to change it or move it along faster. Life has become waiting in lines both figuratively and literally.

Many times we are challenged by just having to wait.

We all wait in different ways. If I have to do something during which there will be a wait, such as going to the registry or bringing someone to a doctor appointment, I tend to bring a book or paper and pen. Some bring electronic games or knitting to waiting events. I often use a time of waiting to practice chants or mantras silently, though I always have in the back of my mind that I could move to the front of the line should I begin to chant vigorously out LOUD! But then, I have seen some examples of frustrated screaming impatient folk hauled off by security… so I have refrained.

Having to wait is most often a good people watching opportunity as well.

It is also an opportune time for ghosts of past waiting situations to cloud our minds and stress us more than the actual wait itself. Ditto for the thoughts of a possible dire future which rile us up and make the waiting time seem even longer.

Life is full of little and sometimes seemingly much too big, times through which we must simply wait. Our only sensible option is to wait as gracefully and patiently as we are able. Of course, in some situations, there is the other option of just picking up and leaving, which is the best option for those in potentially dangerous or otherwise abusive situations who are waiting for the situation to resolve itself or for the mate or boss to stop the abuse.

Very young children don’t have the option of leaving, and so waiting it out with them is a way to help them learn how to wait and teach them that someone in the world does care about them. That they are valued and loved.

The fact is that in most situations “I CAN wait it out” is something we can all hold onto. We all have lived through the most horrible things imaginable, and we are still here to tell about it, many times all the better for having lived through whatever.

In the story of the Buddha, Siddhartha, there is a quote I repeat to myself at times of prolonged or uncomfortable waiting. “I can think, I can wait, I can fast.”

Waiting it out is taking the time to selflessly help another being get through a trying time. The very young, the ill and the very old all need someone to be with when they are waiting something out. Not easy when you are completely exhausted and know full well that if you just leave the area, you can fall so easily into the sleep you so desperately need.

But waiting it out is an act of love.

8 thoughts on “My Mother’s Thoughts about WIO

    1. Are you a member of the Facebook WIO group Jen? If you are I can send you some links. If not I’ll send different links. :)

  1. This reminded me of something my mother would write herself. It’s a special thing when you have your parents on your side. You (and I) are very lucky Sarah. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. Great writing! I want to share this with my husband. We rock our 22 month old to sleep, then put him in his bed to sleep. He still wakes up though partway through the night (I just reluctantly weaned him a few months ago because of something his pediatrician said) and when he wakes up he comes and sleeps the rest of the night in our bed curled up with me. My husband is pushing me though to have us do “cry it out” in the middle of the night to “teach him to sleep in his own bed.” I don’t want to do it, I don’t feel good when he is screaming and we are not doing anything about it. I’m trying to get my husband to understand that some children just take longer to be able to go to sleep on their own.

  3. A wonderful article! The most important point I got from this is that “waiting it out is an act of love”. This reminds me that it is not just babies who need it, the older generation also needs waiting it out. My elders (grandparents) can get grumpy and impatient and child-like at times, so I am glad to have this reminder to remain patient with them. It is easy for me to wait it out with my baby (most of the time) because I KNOW he is still learning to cope with this world.

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