Grasshoppers

I used to be afraid of grasshoppers. When I was a kid I refused to walk through tall grass, not because there could be a snake, rather because there could be a family of tiny, quick grasshoppers lurking. I didn’t like the surprise of the grasshopper. I thought grasshoppers would just lay in wait, stalking their victims, waiting for the perfect time to hop up at your arm, or your face, or your shin, then hop away, leaving you paralyzed with fear and possibly some disease that only grasshopper had. Listen, I was a strange kid. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about patience. If you’re a child of the 70s you probably remember the show “Kung Fu” and the Kung Fu Master telling his student, “When you can snatch the pebble from my hand ‘Grasshopper’ it will be time to go.” Of course the eager student wants to snatch it right away. He isn’t patient, so it takes him some time to get it, three or four seasons if my memory serves. I’m not a child of the 70s, but my older sister is and “be patient young grasshopper,” was said around my mom’s house. Recently it’s been playing on repeat around my house too.

For the last couple of years we have lived in this temporary state of being. Never knowing when things will change, how things will change, why things will change, but always sensing a change is coming. You get used to the feeling, and it isn’t that uncommon for us, both coming from families with military members. We have watched our families and friends live this life for some time. The constant moves, shifting communities, changing schools, new jobs, new friends. Jerimiah even did it as a kid. He went to elementary school, middle school, and high school in three different cities. I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Leavenworth. I didn’t leave until I was 22, and even then Jerimiah and I sort of assumed we’d move to Southern Missouri, well, for good. And now here we are, far away from that place and those people, but not yet in our “forever home” and quite sure we won’t be for some time. It’s not for the faint of heart, this kind of living, it’s also not for the less patient of us.

I am very impatient. Have I said this before? I can’t let paint dry, y’all. Like I will fuck up some paint by touching it too many times, leaving fingerprints, having to do it all over again because I wouldn’t just heed the warning, “Let dry for fifteen minutes.” I can’t wait fifteen minutes! My husband can’t buy me birthday presents because I will give him an idea of what I want, then I will go buy it the next day myself because I NEED IT RIGHT NOW! I’m guilty of skipping ahead in books, refusing to go places because the line is too long and there is no way for me to skip it. I have this great idea for a novel, it’s been nagging me and nagging me for a couple of years now but I won’t sit down to write it because I know it will take too long. AHHHHHH!

But here I am. Here we are, getting a dose of patience injected into our lives. It seems like every day for the last couple of weeks someone or something has told me to slow down and be patient. My doctor reminded me that weight loss is a game of patience. My husband reminded me that if you take the time to research, it will be easier in the long run. His boss asked for him to be patient because a transition is coming. He has called me this week and I have had to tell him to be patient. I have called him this week and he has had to remind me to be patient. Patience. Patience. Patience.

I was on a walk yesterday when a grasshopper jumped out of the grass and attacked my shoe. I stopped for a minute, looked down at him. He was small, and shaking. He was sitting on my shoe, holding onto my laces. I remembered the way I would scream and jump around when I was a kid, until the grasshopper would go flying. I smiled remembering. Then I politely asked the grasshopper if he would like a ride, to which he said, “Sure thing lady, let’s hit up Target.” And so we did.

M.

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