Monday, February 8, 2010

(Im)patience

There are a lot of things I’m impatient with.

Traffic congestion. Long lines at a check-out counter. People anywhere who decide to strike up conversations in aisles and other strategic locations so that no one else can move around them. My computer at work. My computer at home. Phone trees (of any kind). The Missouri State Income Tax forms (designed by sadists). Trying to download music so that someone can burn a CD or put it on the iPhone (I am music-download impaired.) (I’m also useless for trying to hook up anything to the television set, like CD and DVD players, receivers, etc.) Waiting extraordinarily long times in doctors’ offices, as in, longer than 10 minutes.

I could go on, but that’s sufficient for now. I need to get to the point.

My impatience is packed with a lot of things, unfortunately, like how I value my time, my expectations for how others are supposed to behave and my own sense of self-importance.

Occasionally, and I’m trying to avoid using “rarely,” I will stop and ask if there’s anything I’m supposed to learn from whatever is causing me to pace like my dog when he’s within two hours of being fed or needs to enjoy the great outdoors. Am I being taught something here (and I don’t mean being taught patience, but something more significant and cosmic, really)? Should I be looking closely at the situation to gain some profound insight?

I don’t want to think that I’m being taught how to wait.

On Sunday, I took a very small step on the road to patience. At least, that's what the road sign said.

After church, my wife and I drove to a local hospital, to see exactly where it was and how long it would take to get there from our house. It’s about eight miles, and the drive took about 15 minutes. We considered alternate routes in case the direct route was closed for some reason. We checked out the parking.

Neither one of us is planning a hospital stay.

But we are planning a visit.

We want to make sure we know exactly where we’re going in approximately five or six weeks. Because sometime in mid-March, there will be – a grandchild. A grandson, to be specific. Our first. The first great-grandchild in my wife’s immediate family. The first grandchild with the “Young” last name on my side.

I’ve been good. I’ve not pestered my son and daughter-in-law. I’ve not asked them a bazillion questions. I’ve not given them all kinds of great advice. Neither has my wife, although she did suggest that more calcium intake would be a good thing for my daughter-in-law.

We wanted to check out the hospital because, well, you know babies, they can happen at the most surprising of times. And we want to know how to get there for a visit. Or two. Maybe three.

No, I didn’t ask if the hospital had rooms for grandparents.

But I thought about it.

I’m learning patience.

For now.

But just wait.


There’s a One-Word Blog Carnival on patience underway right now, sponsored by Peter Pollock and Bridget Chumbley. To see more posts on the topic, visit Bridget’s web site.

21 comments:

nAncY said...

you are too funny.

i say...
march 8th
7 pounds 9 ounces

Bridget Chumbley said...

Great post, Glynn. There are so many things to lose our patience over... but I can't imagine anything more exciting that a grandbaby to be anxious about!

Congrats to all of you. :)

katdish said...

I never would have guessed you're not a patient fellow.

And you did a practice run to the hospital? I didn't even do that when I was expecting, and I live off I-10, 25 miles from the hospital where I gave birth to my kids.

S. Etole said...

What a wonderful treat you are in for ...

Phoenix-Karenee said...

*laugh* Congratulations!

~*Michelle*~ said...

How exciting!

....and I think the best part about being a grandparent is that God gives you a little extra patience with young children....and when that patience runs out, you can always send them home! ;)

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

*grin*

Out of words today, but this is so happy. :-)

Corinne said...

Glynn, I have tears in my eyes for your excitement. I wish you could pass a little to another grandfather I know...
It's palpable.
I'm so happy and excited for you. Grandchildren, so I hear from a few, are so worth the wait ;)

Russell Holloway said...

Nice post Glynn. Fifteen minutes to the hospital ... hmmm

Graceful said...

This is so sweet, Glynn! My best friend here just had a baby Sunday morning -- a boy, 7 lbs, 9 ounces (I see that's the prediction made above for your grandchild!) We all patiently wait to hear your good news!

Bonnie Gray said...

Congratulations, Glynn! This is such a sweet post -- what a blessing your grandson has in his grandpa.

"My impatience is packed with a lot of things, unfortunately, like how I value my time,"

This is hard to learn -- but, God is teaching me humility. Time is humbling to this mom with a baby and a 4 yr old!

shrinkthecamel said...

Glynn - I hear ya with the impatience thing. I'm probably worse than you, the way you described it. My wife is laid up right now from surgery, and I am forced to be "in the moment" of being present and helpful - not ticking off in my mind all the little things I want to get done. It's a good exercise.

And congratulations on the grandchild! How exciting!

Maureen said...

Impatience to wait for so wonderful a gift, especially when his arrival may coincide with the first day of spring. . . you're excused!

A tender and lovely post, which I hope you'll save for him as a keepsake of your writings.

Joyce said...

I think it's okay to feel a little impatient when we're talking grandchildren making an appearance. Very exciting!

Kathleen said...

Kiss him on his sweet little neck for me. :)
Patience in waiting does have some action involved. Perfect metaphor. Waiting isn't necessarily doing nothing.

Sandra Heska King said...

This is so cool! I'm much more patient with my granddaughter than I was with my own kids. And I had to wait a long time to adopt them. And then they came wrapped in a passel of "issues," so I had to wait for those to pass. I'm still waiting on some.

Kids. They teach you patience!

Congratulations.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I love this post Glynn.

Very tender and comforting. I was a little impatient to find out what you were learning patience for...

The discovery ws well worth the wait!

Louise

Fatha Frank said...

Congrats! I consider grandparents the picture of patience. As a parent of a 2 and 5 year old, parents on the other hand... This is maturity, having lived through it; the wisdom that comes with experience. But to get through it, you had to persevere. To be a grandparent, you had to be a parent first. To be patient, you had to overcome your impatience.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

15 whole minutes to the hospital? You might need to get over there early and sleep in your car, just to be ready.

Great post!

Stephanie said...

I absolutely love this post. Trust me, we welcome your wisdom and advice! Oh yes and we can all be impatient together, I would love to have him out! I look forward to your writings about your first grandson, he is a very lucky boy to have grandparents like you!

TravisMizzou said...

15 minutes?? I have a feeling a "heavy foot" will be applied as you head to the hospital. The first time ever that your wife will not object you speeding. You may beat us there and we are 8 minutes away.

I am so excited to see the wonderful insights you have for junior when he comes in to this world. What a blessing it will be for him to have you as a grandfather.