Infinite patience

Friday night is family movie night at our house.  Each week, we take turns picking a movie, and we all cuddle up with some popcorn and enjoy.  Last night, being Friday, was movie night.  Dan, who went into the living room after dinner to start the movie downloading, had a moment of temporary insanity and clicked “ok” on the prompt for the Apple TV update.  That was around 7:30.

002I made popcorn while Dan got the boys in their pajamas.  The update wasn’t done, so we decided, in an effort to keep the kids happy and entertained while they waited for their movie, to start up the Wii and play for a little while.

Every few minutes, we checked on the update.  Still not done.

Eventually, after a long while, the kids got tired of the Wii.  They started to make up some games to play.  Liam chased a plastic golf ball around the house while B practiced some acrobatic manuevers with his stuffed Angry Birds.  The update STILL wasn’t finished.  When they got tired of their new games, we snuggled in the tent and pretended it was a boat.

By the time it was finished, the update had taken over 2 1/2 hours.  That was 2 1/2 hours of waiting, for two boys who wanted to see a movie they’d been looking forward to for days.  And, during that entire time, we didn’t hear a single frustrated word, not a single moment of unhappiness.  There was no whining.  They were utterly patient and unflappably cheerful.

It was kind of astonishing.  We just had a fun evening, spent playing together.  (In fact, I think the adults were much more frustrated than the kids — I think I rolled my eyes at Dan every time we checked the update and it STILL wasn’t finished).  I don’t know if maybe we just got lucky, but it occurs to me that the evening reminds me of so many moments we’ve had when we’ve been travelling and things haven’t gone as we planned, or when waits have been longer than we expected (or wanted).  My kids have a lot of experience with not just being patient, but with making the most of a less-than-ideal set of circumstances.  (If we can have fun during the ski lesson from hell or enjoy our day that included a flat tire on back roads with no cell reception and two soaking wet kids, then we can manage almost anything.)  My little guys are pretty amazing.  I was so impressed not just that they took the delay in our evening in stride, but that they managed it so happily.  They did better than I did.

Finally, the update was finished, and we loaded up Finding Nemo (which neither of the kids had seen before).  20 minutes later, B, who was fairly traumatized (I forgot how scary that movie is) insisted we turn it off.  We finished our evening with the 7-minute-long Mater and the Ghostlight and the boys were in bed a few minutes later.  (Total wait time for movie: 2 1/2 hours; total movie watching time: 27 minutes.)

The evening was definitely not what we expected, and, as it turned out, the movie was far from the focal point.  I got to spend my evening enjoying the company of my family, playing with my kids, and being impressed with my boys (yet again).  It was a great night.

2 thoughts on “Infinite patience

  1. I stumbled upon your blog accidentally and was delighted. I am from Virginia beach and my oldest son is in the Vienna boys choir. My middle son will be attending next year and I plan to move to Vienna with my last and youngest son in the summer. I would love to talk and ask questions. I have been to Vienna a few times seeing my oldest but moving there is a whole new ball game. Would love to get in touch. My name is heather and my email is Please write back when you get a chance. Thank you so much.

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