My generation speaks of it often when we're together. Having experienced the phenomenon with our own kids, we find ourselves determinedly, albeit futilely trying to grab every instant and hold on for just a little longer with our grandchildren. When we get older, you see, we know how precious this time with little ones can be. We know that there are very few jobs so important we can ignore the reaching out of a tiny hand, or the sweet request that asks only for us to stop for a bit, to just enjoy being with them.
Living a distance from all of my grandchildren, making these connections is even more important. Because of the miles between us, many of these visits have to be found and appreciated in whatever way we can.
Thank goodness, then for today's technology. Years ago if distance separated us from loved ones, if responsibilities kept us from being where we wanted to be, we had the telephone to help us stay in touch. Today, programs such as FaceTime allow us to not just converse but to see those dear faces too. If you can't be in the same room, it's the next best thing.
The other evening, my daughter called to ask me if I would mind a FaceTime break with her babies since she was behind on her supper preparations and felt a distraction for them could help her out. That my supper preparations were in even worse shape held no significance in making a decision. This was one of those moments when my world needed to stop for something far more important.
What fun we had. The rambunctious pre-schooler bounced in and out of the frame, fetching items for his version of show and tell, while his big sister filled us in on the latest kindergarten news. Before my hubby and I knew it, 15 minutes had passed far too quickly and Mom, now with things under control, was calling them to the dinner table. Her thanks as we signed off was rather ironic since the gratitude was all ours.
Even if a visual glimpse isn't possible, technology has provided so many ways to keep in touch — from instant messaging to chats on Facebook, from emails to texting.
The latter is something the aforementioned granddaughter has latched on to with enthusiasm. Her version of texting is not exactly about conversation since, at five, her ability to spell and type is rather limited. But when I hear the ringtone, nothing makes my heart smile more than a message full of unicorn and rainbow emojis. It's enough to know that we are connecting.
And I love to imagine her giggles when I respond with some of the adorable Animation Factory sticker packs from Vital Imagery Ltd. Available on iTunes these fun animations, for iPhone and iPad, infuse humour and visual interest in mundane texts. This one is sure to put the Merry in your Christmas messages: