Don't you hate how long it takes to learn patience?

Don't you hate how long it takes to learn patience?

I've decided this, at least for today, is the most challenging lesson to teach my children. The waiting always is the hardest part.

"I wish we were there right now," my daughter, 5, said one minute into a two-hour trip. She looked out the window and exhaled slowly. How, on such a beautiful day, could you possibly force your kids to sit on a long car ride? She wasn't against the destination, she just wishes all of our destinations were within 5 miles of our house.

"Relax, look out the window and enjoy the scenery," I said. "Or, better yet, take a little nap."

She huffed, and my wife listed off a number of things she could do with her time. She huffed again, and the car got quiet.

"We there yet?" My 2-year-old chimed in. Her comedic timing is highly advanced. A few minutes later, she fell asleep.

Recently, I determined that while I am able to be patient, often I am not. And, if you've ever driven anywhere, ever, then you know there are a lot of people who are way too impatient. Some days, I wonder what it is the crazy drivers out there are in such a hurry to get to. What do they do with that extra second they gained by cutting me off?

Then, other days, I'm too busy driving like a crazy person to think about such things.

Kids see all. So, I've made a conscious effort to be a better example and show more patience. I take a lot of deep breaths. When I'm driving, I ask myself, "Why are you in such a hurry?"

And I told my girls about this.

"We aren't allowed to drive," my 5-year-old responded. I explained that this wasn't about driving as much as it was about better using one's time and generally trying to be nicer.

"You know how sometimes you have to sit and wait for something?" I asked.

They both nodded.

"Well, showing patience means you deal with those moments in a good, quiet way," I said. "It's a hard thing to learn how to wait, but we should at least try."

"If patience is waiting, then I don't like either," she said quickly before taking a moment to think. "You know, one thing that helps is to eat more snacks."

Her little sister nodded and joined in on out roundtable discussion. "I want snacks, too."

"What if there aren't any snacks?" I said. "What would you do?"

"Well, I hope we are on our way to get more snacks," she answered. "I guess I could color or sing songs."

"Or having a good conversation," I said. They both nodded as if I was making a breakthrough.

My 2-year-old thoughtfully put her hand on my arm and whispered to me. "Daddy, when are we going to have snacks?"

My head hung, and I took a deep breath. I told them we'd have to wait until later to have a snack.

"Oh, man, patience is not my favorite thing," my 5-year-old said. "But if it means snacks, I'll try."

David Manley is a husband, father and newspaper editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at david.manley@cantonrep.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DaveManley.