When my ancestors wanted to have face time with their grandchildren, I imagine they simply shuffled across a dirt road or two within the shtetl or perhaps across the hall into the next room of the house.
When I wanted some face time with my own grandparents, Dearie (sweetest grandmother name ever) and Pawpaw, I hopped on my blue Schwinn and pedaled over to their house. (There was a drawer in their bedroom that was chock full of Juicy Fruit chewing gum and Sweet Tarts; I usually hit that up before settling on the couch for the aforementioned face time.)
Now it’s my turn to be a grandparent. And when I want face time with Henry, well, forget the walk across the road, the trek to another room or a bike ride to a nearby neighborhood.
It’s 2011; face time is just a few clicks away. It sure shortens the distance between Kansas City and New Orleans.
Henry is growing up thinking G-Lo is curiously flat with an unfortunately distorted face. She disappears every now and then without warning because of something called dropped calls. She does all the things other grandmothers do and have always done, though: she talks in a high, lilting voice, she makes funny faces, she sings songs, she blows kisses and she reaches out her hand. But she’s pretty small relative to other things in the room, and she’s encased in a small black frame.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for this new technology. I just want to be able to squeeze those cheeks. And Henry has not only cheeks suitable for squeezing. He’s also got a couple extra chins and some rolls on his arms and legs that put him right up there with the adorable Pillsbury dough boy.
Anyhow, last night I realized how funny the situation has become around our house. Eddie (Zayde… Yiddish for grandfather) and I race to our iPhones whenever new pictures or videos of Henry are posted. It’s like we’re drawing our six-shooters to see who’s the fastest.
Zayde and I were sitting on the couch when Abbie sent a 30 second movie of Henry laughing. Zayde pulled out his iPhone, and he and I watched it together a couple times. Then I pulled out mine, and we began hitting the replay button on our own respective phones, watching the giggling grandson over and over again.
I knew we’d finally gone over the edge when we held our phones side by side and created a set of twins. The two images of Henry giggled back and forth at each other while we waved our phones around in the darkened room. Zayde and I were so pleased with ourselves. In our minds, we had topped the” babbling boy twins” video that went viral last week and landed the parents on Ellen, Good Morning America and the NBC Nightly News (just to name a few).
Pretty funny, don't you think?
Maybe you had to be there.
What would my great-great-great grandparents, sitting around in the darkened room of their home have thought? Whoa, I hate to think.