When I was younger–before the age of 10–my grandfather would take us fishing on the lake in his pontoon boat. My sister and I learned it all–how to bait our hooks with worms and maggots, how to cast, and most importantly, how to wait.
You see, as any good fisherman knows, you can guess where the hot spots are and cast right in, but you can’t always make the fish come to you. Sparkly lures may help, being there at the right time definitely helps, but since you can’t see what’s happening all the way down there underwater, all you can do is bait up, cast out, and be patient.
I remember my Pap telling me that I was a good fisher for that very reason–because I was patient.
“That’s the most important thing,” he said. “Bait your hook, then sit. Just wait.”
Being a child who was on the quieter and more shy side, this came naturally to me then. (And it also caught me more than my fair share of bluegill.)
It was in those quiet moments I learned the value of ignoring the noise, and focusing on just one task at hand.
But somewhere along the line in the ensuing years, as I grew up from being that little girl on the pontoon boat, I also grew more restless, more impatient in my ways. I could still sit still if I had to, but it didn’t come as naturally to me as the pressing duties of school, then work and motherhood, started in.
So this past weekend, when we bought our two big kids Lego sets and the first thing my daughter asked when we got home was for me to build it, you can guess what my first impulse was to say.
“No, honey, your dad will help you with that later.”
After all, dinner wasn’t going to make itself and the toys couldn’t put themselves away and the laundry is in that state where it’s just about to be a real pain in the butt to fold if I don’t hop on it right away.
I don’t know if it was the sweet look on her face when she asked, or maybe the twinge of disappointment I detected when I said no, but I immediately went back on my words. I knew. It was time to slow down, to go back to being that girl on the pontoon boat for a second, to sit down, cast out and be patient. It was my time to enjoy the moment with my little girl.
We sat down and I built this. The first ever Lego set I’ve constructed:
I’m damn proud–not only of what I built, but also of the fact that I put aside time for my girl. That I was patient with myself, took the time to see something through, granted myself he grace to ignore the clutter, and built the damn Legos.
For a few minutes, I reconnected with the girl on the boat who knew instinctively that the best things in life need time and patience. And sometimes, no matter what tasks are calling your name, you just have to just sit and enjoy the moment.
And I have this set and one happy little girl to prove I made the right call.