How to Survive the Waiting

This morning, a boy turns to me and asks, “Can you give me any tips on how to wait for something?”

I’m stumped.  I’m floored.  I’m overcome with how sweet (but so important) this question is and how many years of his life he’ll be waiting for something.  Here he is–just a boy–already waiting and needing to know how to survive the wait.

I’m overcome with how much of life is about waiting.  I think every person I know has something they are waiting for.  My own waiting–for the dreams of my children, for the plans I’ve made with my husband, for my own novelist longings–are equal parts delight and despair.  Waiting is the not yet.  It’s a yes and a no at the same time.  It’s the impossible focus on two dimensions:  hope and the reality of now. 

It’s the grand universal Maybe. 

I tell the little boy (he’s not so little now–we’re on our 4th year of walking to school together) that all I can offer is this:  Focus on the great things right in front of you today.  But then I correct myself.  I remember the beauty of longing, the joy of waiting because something is coming.  I run up beside him and tell him that it’s a great thing to wait.  It’s the best thing in the world.

Something is coming.  It’s just around the corner.  Living with flair means we delight in the Maybe.

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Journal:  What would you have said to this boy? 

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