Are you patient?
July 26, 2017

Have you ever worked from home with a toddler underfoot? It’s an interesting way to live. Darrell and I only have the one child, but she added more than enough interesting to make me wonder -- at first -- if I was up to it. My life felt like an endless, unrelenting, fun but exhausting tennis match. “Mom! I need more milk!” Katie would say. “Mom! Your interview’s on the line!” Darrell would add. I transcribed interviews a phrase at a time while they had lunch or Katie watched a favorite cartoon.

And I wasn’t perfect.

Once in a while, when Katie was coloring or whatever, I’d settle in at my desk for maybe twenty consecutive minutes. That’s usually when Darrell hit me up for the answer to a work question, because I wasn’t in the office before and now I was. And once in a while he sensed my frustration at not even having those twenty minutes.

The thing was, he explained, these were either questions I wanted him to ask -- or he needed me to answer. It wasn’t small talk. And he didn’t like this vague sense he’d disappointed me somehow. That hurt to hear -- oh, no! proof I wasn’t perfect! -- but I fixed it. From then on when he needed something I stopped whatever I was doing and gave him my full attention and told him with my attitude he had every right to expect it.

Oh, sure. Over the years there’s been an occasional edge to my voice because I’m still not perfect. But you know what? I’ve owned up so quickly and so thoroughly, and have apologized with such gusto, Darrell’s given me the impression I’m covered for not only that infraction but the next.

I’m not just saying that. I still check in with him once in a while on this point. What’s the use of having someone with the courage to tell you the truth if you aren’t going to handle it?