life, waiting, writing

Wondering and Waiting

Lily Chang © 2019

Yesterday afternoon, I was the eighth in the carpool lane to pick up the kiddos. Not long after I arrived, I turned off the engine. After all, we aren’t supposed to let the car idle. It didn’t take long before I felt like I was in a furnace. Outside temps pushed the upper nineties. I don’t want to know how hot the inside of my car was. I was sweaty and miserable. So, I started the engine and waited.

Eventually, dismissal started and cars began leaving as children got picked up. As that happened, I moved up in the line. Finally I was in front.

I was aware I had to wait longer than many of the other parents, because two of the kiddos were coming from the other campus by school bus, with a stop on the way. The distance from one campus to the other is thirty minutes, without traffic and without making any stops.

I started pulling my car further forward toward the front of the semi-circle in front of the school, when I realized no cars were behind me. None.

Still, I waited. I waited. And I waited.

I was told the bus took forever to arrive.


After I had picked up the kiddos, we had to buy some extra uniform tops. The shop’s in Denver, and we were already in the city. From where we were, the store was only fifteen minutes away.

The place’s on the outskirts of the city, in the warehouse district. We already knew this because we had been by last Friday. In spite of calling ahead and asking whether they had the needed uniforms in stock and being assured they did, there was none to be had for the size we needed. None.

Lily Chang © 2019

When we arrived yesterday, there was a line, not unlike the one on Friday.

Though there were two employees working the line, which was one more than last week, people weren’t getting through any faster. We waited some fifteen or twenty minutes before we got helped.

When it was finally our turn, I asked for five uniform shirts in the size we had asked for on Friday. We were told the shirts would, for sure, be in. He was so sure, the guy said there was no need to call or pay first.

I was anxious to get out of there, because we had much to do before dinner: putting away school stuff, doing homework, practicing instruments. We had less than an hour to get all those things done once we got home.

Well, the guy said they hadn’t gotten our size shirts we in.

I was frustrated. What? Why? I have other things I need to do, and coming back Wednesday was the last thing I wanted to do.

One of the kiddos tried on a large and said going a size bigger was fine. The other one who also needed a few more tops didn’t want to wear a large. The reason for the unwillingness wasn’t convincing. Not to me. But she was unwavering in her determination.

After we stepped out of line and three of the kiddos were already outside, the unwilling kiddo claimed to be okay with going a size up.

We told the guy helping us and he went to fetch the shirts. I feared we had to get back in line, at the very end, which was already to the door. And the store was closing in ten minutes.

He was gone for a bit but finally returned with our five uniform tops. Maybe he took pity on us. I have no idea. But he announced to the crowd that we were first in line and he was going to let us pay, before helping anyone else.

I spent a lot of time yesterday, today, everyday waiting. I try really hard not to have a bad attitude about it. Being nasty makes everybody miserable, and the desired result doesn’t happen faster. I’ll be the first to confess that I don’t always exercise patience.

Waiting in the carpool lane when it’s nearly a hundred degrees makes me batty. Then, sometimes, like today, I wondered how the kiddos without air conditioning in their classrooms make it through the day.

Being patient about finding someone to represent my manuscript has been hard. I’ve been thinking there must be something about me or my writing that’s not good enough. In my better moments, I imagine just how many queries and writing samples agents have to go through everyday, in addition to their other work duties. I wonder how they balance finding good writing and meeting the demands and expectations of publishers.

So, I’m going to do what I can, with everyday life obligations or finding representation for my novels, and then sit back and wait. With patience and wonder.

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