Love is patient ... which requires practice

Imagine the quintessential grandmother -- her dress, her personality, her mannerisms, her quirks.

Got her in mind?

Did you envision Grandma as plumpish, gray hair pulled back, dressed in comfortable clothing (sweats? jeans and a T-shirt? a house dress?), enjoying her rocking chair and knitting after just pulling the last pan of cookies from the oven?

Or did you you see a chic career woman with the latest hairstyle -- definitely not gray hair! -- picking up Chinese takeout on her way home from work, wrapping up the loose ends of a long week as she prepares for a relaxing weekend getaway?

Both visions are correct, of course. Although I'd say a combination of the two is likely a more accurate picture of what today's grandmothers look like.

Whatever your vision of "Grandma," one trait sure to be included is patience. For the quintessential grandma takes her time with her grandchildren. She doesn't rush them to get dressed. Doesn't roll her eyes at their curiosity with everything on the way out the door -- or out of the room. Doesn't tap her toes and look at the clock as scheduled activities and appointments await while those meant to be there hem and haw and take their sweet time getting. in. the. car.

No, there's none of that "hurry up" harriedness with grandmas. For grandmas are patient.

Those grandmas who live near the grandchildren, that is. Those who see their grandkids on a regular basis.

Not so much with the long-distance grandmas.

At least that's my theory ... a theory formed after spending a week with Bubby.

You see, years ago I was a fairly patient person. I was mother to three young daughters; I had no choice but be patient. You simply can't rush little kids. So rather than tap toes and grit teeth, I learned to be patient.

Then my little girls became teenagers. And I became less patient. I won't even go there, won't go into detail, because we all know what teen girls are like -- we've either had one or we've been one. And we know it does a number on a mother's patience.

Then the girls left home. And I was left being a rather impatient person.

I try. But God knows -- and Jim will certainly attest -- that I lean a bit more toward being an impatient screaming mimi than a relaxed picture of patience. Most days, most of the time.

Except for the time I spend with Bubby. During such times, my patience returns. I don't rush him to do anything. I couldn't rush him to do anything. He's on his own clock and it doesn't tick anywhere near as furiously as mine.

So I adjust mine a bit. And I do so with no qualms, no complaints. Because I love Bubby, want to spend every possible minute with him. And when I'm lucky enough to be given such minutes, there's nothing more pressing on the docket than following his schedule.

During our recent time together, we'd be on the way to get him dressed for the day and Bubby would happen upon a car -- or truck or motorcycle or dinosaur -- that needed zooming around the room. No problem! Zoom away.

We'd be packing for a trip to the park and Bubby would first want to watch for squirrels out the dining room window. No problem! "Here squirrelly squirrel."

When it was time to color, proper set up by Bubby was required first. Meaning he'd lay out each and every crayon, one next to the other, perfectly aligned before even considering opening the coloring book to choose a page. No problem! Lined-up crayons create a beautiful rainbow.

When it was time for the dogs to get a morning treat, Mickey and Lyla would sit nicely, awaiting the treat Bubby planned to award them ... after he turned each dog biscuit around and around in his hands, reciting the ABCs inscribed on the goodies. No problem! Even the dogs understood patience was the order of the day.

And when we had to go up stairs ... or down stairs ... Bubby would take one step with the right foot, then one step with the left foot, onto the same stair. Right foot again ... left foot onto the same stair. Right foot again ... left foot on the same stair. One-by-one we did double time on each stair. No problem! It simply meant I had a little bit longer to hold Bubby's hand in mine as we traversed each staircase.

I was okay with all of it. Every s-l-o-w second of it. My usual hurry-up harriedness didn't apply while with Bubby. Didn't matter while I was with Bubby. And that, I theorize, is the case with all grandmothers when they're with their grandchildren. And when they're with them often, patience becomes part of who they are, a trait they possess without question. Patience becomes permanently instilled in them.

My hope is that one day I will be a permanently patient person.

My hope is that one day I will no longer be a long-distance grandma.

Today's question:

Mine is impatience and being a control freak. What is one of your less admirable traits?