Remember the chaotic lunch preparations I wrote about the other day? I got an email yesterday morning that made me look at our time spent together in the kitchen in a whole new way.
Someone older and wiser than I shared with me her own experiences with her young children helping in the kitchen and commented, "what fun, and what an opportunity for teaching and patience."
Before yesterday, I was looking at my kitchen-ful of kids and seeing messes, enthusiasm, inexperience, the learning process, spills, helpfulness, waste, wonder, and excitement. I saw the potential for fun, and the opportunity for me to teach, but I missed seeing the lessons that are there for me to learn.
My dictionary defines opportunity as: "a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something". I just went back and counted, and in that description of our lunch-making process, there were 17 opportunities for patience. And for the record, since I'm being honest here, I only took 7 of them. I missed 10 opportunities to be patient...but at least now I know what they look like.
I'm excited now to learn to recognize all my opportunities for patience! I'm sure that I can find them all day long, and not just when we're working in the kitchen. The challenge will be in reminding myself that they ARE opportunities for patience, not just another mess to clean up or problem to solve!