Today while waiting with my three year old to check out our books at the library an elderly woman blatantly cut in the front of the line to check out her own books. This has happened to me before but today it irked me a bit. I mean, seriously, how impatient do you have to be to cut in front of a three year old at the library? Especially when that little three year old is hip hopping all over the place with her own impatience?
I attempted to let the woman politely know that there was a line behind her while at the same time intending to let her cut in front of me anyway but she either was hard of hearing or ignored me so I abandoned my effort. But I thought to myself, "Lady, I can tell you a thing or two about waiting." Try waiting over four months for a child in your womb to either take his last breath or enter the world. Try waiting over four months to find out whether that child will cry when he is born. Try waiting over four months to hear that cry and then begin to count the minutes, yes minutes, which will make up your child's entire life. Try waiting those precious minutes praying each and every heartbeat is not his last. Then, when you've done all those things. Do it again. I've done it, twice, and I now know a few things about waiting.
I know that it's not the end of the world to step into a line that has more than one person ahead of me. I know that it's not worth the mental effort of analyzing which line will be faster in an effort to save precious minutes. I know that whatever precious minutes I manage to save, they will not even hold a candle to some of the most precious moments life has to offer. I know the lightness my heart gains when I let someone with a smaller load or cart go in front of myself or when I slow my car to let someone cross the street. I know what feeling that burden of waiting being lifted feels like too.
I don't want anyone to understand waiting like I do. But I would like to see more patience than impatience and more empathy than judgment. After all, some of the best things in life are worth waiting for, I also know that about waiting.