The Art of Waiting
The bus is late. I stand at the head of a lengthening queue outside the 99p Shop. Three lanes of traffic roar past us and a beer can rolls round our feet. 'We spend half our lives waiting,' says a tiny old man behind me. 'It is not good'. I reflect on this this. The greater part of parenting involves waiting. Waiting in playgrounds, waiting at swimming lessons, waiting at the school gate. It's the aspect of child-care that the uninitiated find most challenging and it's the aspect, a mother of independent teenagers warns me, that she most misses. Waiting, it strikes me, gives us time out of the rush and clamour to collect our harrassed thoughts. Time to wonder where that man with the yellow shoes is headed with that aspidistra. Time to rationalise a hurtful slight; to draft the next blog post; to ponder elusive cosmic mysteries. Why should flapping a J-cloth or lunging for fashion bargains be more valid activities than the rare stillness of time suspended.