by Chris de Serres

Sometimes I find myself waiting for others.  In holding patterns I can’t get out of.  Life is often like that when you have a family.  Waiting. I wonder how much of my life has been spent waiting.  I remember when I was a little boy, following my mother around at the department store.  Holding her purse.  Waiting.  She would take me to appointments.  Doctors appointments.  Hair appointments.  I would sit in the waiting room.  Waiting.

Army brats spend alot of time waiting.  That’s why we are brats.  We are moving all the time.  Leaving school.  Going to a new school.  Then leaving again.  During recess I walked around, looking to make friends.  Yet, I held back because I knew we would be leaving here eventually.  So I waited in the classroom.  Eating candy.  At our new duty station, we waited for housing, for groceries at the commissary.

When I turned 18 and left for the Army it was no different.  I was constantly in a line of some sort.  Waiting to be vaccinated.  To be ‘in-processed.’  Waiting to be issued my weapon, then waiting for ammo.  We would get into formation, which is a form of waiting.  In Airborne School, we waited to get on the plane, then waited to jump out.  We landed then waited for everyone else to land.

Now I am an adult and I still find myself waiting.  I find myself in situations slightly out of my control.  Irritated.  Waiting for something to finish.  To happen.

When something does happen it can be glorious.  I am no longer irritated because I don’t have to wait.  I am free to go on.  Yet, familiar patterns are hard to break.  Even this morning.  I woke up early because I wanted to create something.  To give myself a productive day.  Yet, I wonder when my wife and child will wake up.  Then I wait.

I was reading an article on the Beach Boys.  The journalist described Al Jardine as always looking like he was at a bus stop waiting for the bus.  I wonder if he grew up waiting like me.

I always hated waiting.