Love Waits.

By: Jen Shoop

I saw a gentleman escort his wife, who was using a walker, into the nail salon the other week. He helped her select a color, and guided her to the technician’s station, and then sat in the small waiting room with his coat on his lap until she was done and dried. I watched him move through this sequence as though it were the most normal thing in the world.

Love doesn’t do things for personal convenience, or comfort. It doesn’t rush or tap its foot in impatience.

Love waits, doesn’t it?

I am thinking today of the narrowest example: the way, when I was younger and less practiced at time management, my husband would wait for me to get ready with his shoulder blades pressed lightly against the bathroom wall, a beer in his hands. How many hours did he lose in this posture?

As parents, waiting is part of the job description. I spent years waiting for my babies to come into my life, then a collective eighteen months for them to appear. Those final few weeks of pregnancy were, for me, a tremendous physical and emotional slog. Every small errand shadowed by a contingency plan; each twinge and jolt accompanied by a “could it be…?” I felt in many ways suspended. From myself, from the everyday flow of life, from the babies I so desperately wanted to meet. Wait, I was being told. I remember bathing my two year old while I was waiting for my overdue boy to appear, and as I hoisted myself up from the bathroom floor, I felt an immense, unabating fatigue — how hard it felt to even get myself off the tile, how hard it would be to make my way through the bedtime routine, how hard it was to not know when the baby would come. Pregnancy demands a supernatural forbearance, doesn’t it? At the same time, it primes us for the many kinds of waiting parenting entails.

Because once my babies appeared, I assumed a semi-permanent waiting position. Waiting for them to fall asleep, waiting for them to quiet as I’d rock them up and down the hall, waiting for them to finish their feeds, waiting for them to wake from their naps. Then waiting for them to slowly toddle behind me, to feed themselves (“I do it”!), to put on their shoes, to finish time outs, to come down from their tantrums, to break their fevers, to swallow their medicines, to put on their jackets, to emerge from their schools, to finish their dinners, to say their “I’m sorry”‘s.

I don’t mean to suggest that, as parents, we are killing time, or constantly seeking expedition, or measuring our children against a clock. I mean that truly loving someone is sitting with them until they are ready. Relinquishing my own objectives, desires, comforts and instead handing my minutes and hours over to someone else.

I am reminding myself of this today as I fight the urge to expedite my son through his dinner. He will somehow sit down at 6 p.m. to modest mounds of rice, roast chicken, and broccoli, and, sixty minutes later, have ingested only a few nibbles of each as we careen towards and then through his usual bedtime. He will chatter, and daydream, and get up from the table to urgently show me his artwork from school, and I will remind myself: “Love waits.” I will listen to his hiccuping stories, and permit him to ask his ambulatory questions, because I now think what he needs at the dinner table is connection, the sensation of being heard and held after a long day of walking in lines, and accommodating school bells, and following rules, and speaking in an indoor voice. I will remind myself, as I eye the small spoon that carries a few grains of rice on it slowly make its way to his mouth, then stop in mid-air, then retreat to the plate, that love hangs fires, and bides its time, and sometimes twiddles its thumbs. Love is patient, and inconvenient. Love is a slow dance against the clock.

Post Scripts.

+How to stop time.

+Love is also making a salad.

+There are many ways to say I love you.

Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

+Credo is offering 20% off sitewide — an excellent time to stock up on all things Westman Atelier. I cannot say enough good things about their foundation stick. It’s a makeup case staple — an instant re-order as soon as finished. It provides more coverage than the Merit stick, and lasts longer, though both have their place in my makeup regimen. I prefer W.A. when I really want to be done up / have flawless skin / look polished. The trick is having very well hydrated skin first! I also love this brow pencil for filling in – I have one really sparse patch that this handles well. And I think their highlighter is my absolute favorite. It has NO color. Just glow!

+OK, this dramatic cotton-silk blouse from Banana is $120 and EVERYTHING. Pair with trousers or denim for a very high-end look.

+I think I might treat myself to one of these sweet cardigans. Doen also has some gorgeous ones. Both look vintage!

+If you like the look of my ecru denim skirt from last season but not the price tag, get the look for less with this Gap! While you’re at Gap — you might consider this cute puff-sleeved gauze top, as well as these beyond adorable sandals and gauze shorts for your mini.

+Becoming increasingly obsessed with these raffia circle bags that have been everywhere, from Khaite and Miu Miu to the more affordable options here.

+A chic dark wash denim everyday dress.

+Adidas Gazelles in the best color combo. (Yes, StockX is legit!)

+Diptyque has re-released its cherry blossom candle! I think I need to get my hands on one.

+Fun sandal for a little one if she’s into bling / glitter.

+All of these dresses from Cala de la Cruz are giving Johanna Ortiz vibes, but less than half the price. I especially love this one and this one.

+Bucket hats have been enjoying their day in the sun the past season or two, with raffia options from Prada and canvas ones from Miu Miu paving the way. I like the ones Janessa Leone has out this season in both raffia and canvas! (Bonus: they are packable!). Get the look for less with this.

+I just saw someone on TikTok raving about this “glass hair” heat protectant and kind of want to try — her hair was SO shiny after!

+Fun exclamation point to your athleisure wardrobe.

+NB 327s in a rainbow of pastels.

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4 thoughts on “Love Waits.

  1. Forbearance is the exact word! You are so meticulous in your choices.

    I do think we feel this keenly as anticipators. Last night with our time change we had a very late night with the kids. I used to get frustrated, but if everyone’s happy we call it a sleepover: no one’s actually sleeping, but we’re all having a good time!

      1. For me the difference is my husband’s presence! I’m very much the default at bedtime but if he’s there too, even if he’s reading and the kids both need me, it’s a party instead of a solitary trudge. Just having your person there to make faces at? Suddenly there’s another conversation being had.

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