When you're a kid, sometimes it feels like you're always being told to wait. Wait for mom. Wait your turn. Wait until you're older. Wait until you're bigger. Wait until dinner. Wait until your father gets home! And the hardest part of waiting is that kids have no sense of time, so they often feel like they'll be waiting forever.
Adults do our share of waiting, too. We wait for appointments, we wait for buses, we wait for promotions, we wait in lines, we wait on the phone, we wait in traffic. And sometimes we feel like we'll be waiting forever, too. The hands of the clock seem frozen in time.
Thanks to the show "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," my kids are getting better about waiting. In one episode of the show, Daniel goes to dinner with his family and the food is somewhat slow to arrive (in Daniel's opinion, anyway), so Daniel has to wait. His parents teach him a song that says, "While you wait, you can play, think, or imagine anything." So now, whenever my kids have to wait for something, we try to come up with some kind of game or imagination play to keep us occupied. We play "I Spy," we look for geometric shapes, we make up stories about the people we see, we pretend we're explorers or pirates or princesses or knights, we make up silly songs. What used to be wasted time is now profitable and fun and educational. Instead of being frustrated by an unexpected wait, now I look forward to the chance to spend some quality play time with my kids. I look forward to the wait.