Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
"Mirror Mirror, on the wall"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dinner and a movie; Technology helps Grandparents share all the "firsts"

Olivia's First teeth
First time Olivia stood up in her crib
My Dad, Papa Dickie was a very devoted Grandfather with a great sense of mischief.  Phone calls to my kids were important to him because he lived in New Jersey while we lived in Boston.  When my children were young, my Dad would tell them that he had a “television phone” and although they couldn’t see him, he could see them.  That idea delighted them and they would sing and perform for him whenever he called.  This made Papa Dickie’s calls very exciting and lots of fun for them.

If my Dad could see Skype and facetime he would see the technology that he had only wished for had come to fruition.  While I travel to New York City to see Olivia often, I just can’t get enough of her.  We fill in the blanks with face-time, daily photos on the web and you-tube videos.  Sometimes, we facetime while she is having dinner; I call it Dinner and a show.  I know that she knows who I am from the enormous smile, which crosses her face when she sees me.  I love to watch her grabbing for the computer as if to bring me closer.  I can practically share her favorite mangos with her and even see the spatter on my clothes.  I love to watch her feed herself cheerios and listen to her mummer m-m-m-m-m-m-m with great pleasure as she eats.   We can sing songs with her and enjoy each other across all the miles.

Olivia, like many babies, doesn’t always perform her baby-tricks on demand.  She likes to choose which tricks she will perform at any given time.  Sometimes, she will answer all requests for animal’s sounds and sometimes she will stubbornly refuse all appeals to quack or moo.  The good news is that the kids can document these accomplishments when Olivia decides to grace them with a performance on video and post them for us on you-tube or even e-mail them on the spot!  Olivia’s first steps and first words are downloaded on my iphone for me to watch and show-off to all my friends whenever I want. 

Nothing is better than real cuddles, but how lucky are we, 21st Century Grandparent, who can share a piece of their grandchild’s day and experience all their “firsts” on video and pictures no matter how far away?

1 comment:

  1. Mimi says: I seem to crave the moments when technology brings me closer to Maya. As she learns that by pushing certain buttons she will see her Mimi, the computer screen has become my friend.
    I now can watch her sing and dance and I love when she lifts up her shirt to show me her "belly-button"
    I no longer feel like I am too far away and that even though I am living in another state I don't get to see her often enough.
    Our visits have become extended but I do cherish the times when I can hug and kiss her, rather than blow kisses to the screen.

    Even though technology has brought most of us closer to our grandchildren, it still distances our children's generation from ours. They are consumed with their gadgets, and their socialization skills are in need of help... What about eye contact, the how to do's, and in general, the art of conversation rather than texting?

    I will cherish the technology so that I can continue to skype and ichat with Maya, but will make it my business as a grandmother to be there for her in person, as much as I can.