05 June 2012

Patience and Perfection

I am always amazed at how much I learn from my kids. I think the first thing they taught me is how to have patience...a lesson I apparently keep needing to learn!

My kids have improved my patience in so many ways. The best way that I have learned the benefits of patience is by watching my second son.

He has always been the type of kid who watches and studies. He is not afraid to practice and practice and practice something until he gets it right. Most of my kids (like their parents) tend to get frustrated when something isn't perfect the first time they try it. Often, if something doesn't come naturally or easily, quitting seems like the easiest and most desirable option. No use embarrassing yourself when you don't need to...I have been struggling with this tendency my whole life. I want everything to be perfect and if I can't do it perfectly I don't do it or else I only give it a half effort so if I fail I can tell myself that I didn't really try so the failure doesn't really count...which of course it does.

I realize that this is a terrible attitude and I have really been working on changing this over the past twenty years or so...

 and I have made huge improvements. Every year, I get a little better. Watching my second son has really helped. I see that the more he practices the better he gets. I notice that when he is determined he eventually succeeds. He is not afraid to fail many times before getting it right and he seems to know instinctively that he will get it eventually. This year he has learned to whistle, snap his fingers...

and stand on his head. He has almost perfected the splits as well.

I am always amazed by his perseverance. I am so grateful for all the lessons I have learned from my kids and for this guy who shows me almost daily that it is okay to fail because that is the only way that I will ever come close to perfection.

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