Over the holidays, I spent some time with my nephew, Lain, who is five years old. I also visited with my other sister and her little family. That sister has two children, one two-month-old and one two-year-old (Danni).

Lain is an only-child and when I watched him over the holidays, I noticed him learning to play with Danni. Danni loves him and his mom. She jumps up and down with joy whenever Auntie and Lain come to visit. Literally, she screams, and jumps up and down. Sometimes, Danni runs to the door or window.

Over the last year, I wanted to make a commitment to learn to be patient. In the last 12 months or so, I thought I learned some patience but I knew I still had a lot to learn. After arriving in Ottawa and reflecting on my visit home, I learned that I have a lot to learn when it comes to being patient. Lain, my five-year-old nephew, taught me this lesson.

We went bowling, the day before I departed for my travels back to Ottawa. My sisters, their families, and my mom. It was a nice way to end the holidays. Relaxing. Laughter. Spending time with loved ones.

When we were at the bowling alley, Danni wanted to bowl during everyone’s turn including Lain’s turn. On New Years Eve, Lain and Danni “fought” over toys. But Lain didn’t know any better. My mom, his ya-ya, took him to the side, away from Danni, to tell him about sharing, being gentle and being kind when it comes to playing with the baby, Danni. Over the rest of the evening, Danni wanted to play with everything Lain wanted to play with but he remembered what his ya-ya told him. Then, at the bowling alley and when Danni wanted to bowl during everyone’s turn, I noticed Lain taking these same lessons that my mom shared with him. He waited while Danni was done, even when she wanted to stay at the lane. He waited until her parents came to pick her up so that Lain could have his turn. He didn’t complain. He didn’t say anything. He just stood there in silence, patiently waiting for his turn.

Sitting next to my mom and looking over at Lain and Danni’s lane, I thought, “Wow, Lain is so patient today.” Despite Danni wanting to bowl the entire time, even during Lain’s turn, Lain didn’t complain; he just waited, calmly, until my sister and her partner helped Danni out of the way

Reflecting back on this visit home, I can only wish I could be as a patient and kind as my five-year-old nephew—we have a lot to learn from our little ones.

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