Grandparenting transcends all other life stages. There is less worry and more joy than parenting. It is an exalted state of being. We have two granddaughters, 1 and 2 years old, who have turned our lives upside down. My wife and I look forward to every chance we get to see them. We feel blessed that they live close by — allowing us to see them, hold them and let them jump all over us. Until now.
Magic Shows Without The Rabbit
Yes, we have resorted to Zoom meetings to see them. Initially, they would literally try to reach through the computer screen. Sadly, they now know that it is a video call which is more of a tease than anything else. We look for interesting things to show them during our Zoom meetings. It is almost like a magic show, a performance. Technology is a great enabler but it can only take you so far.
We All Miss The Human Touch
We are longing for the human touch, that smell of a small child (and I am not talking about dirty diapers). Our son and daughter-in-law are both working from home. The children’s school is closed for now, making it near impossible for both of them to be working at the same time.
Unmasking Emotions, But Not Our Faces
And so, we have reached an accommodation. A few times per week, we drop by to take the girls on a walk, giving their parents some time to work unimpeded. For us, it is such a luxury to slowly, leisurely walk through the neighborhood, hastily pulling our masks up whenever someone else in on the sidewalks, and then letting the girls pull the masks back down once the danger of contact has passed. The biggest danger is to us. As older people, we are more at risk to the effects of the COVID-19 virus. It’s a risk we gladly take, at least for now.
A Measurable Health Benefit
Apart from the emotional benefit, there is a measurable health benefit for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Let’s face it, no one will love them like their grandparents.
We have many friends in our age cohort who only see their grandchildren virtually. Better than nothing, for sure, but no substitute for actual contact. Their need for contact is so overwhelming that some grandparents have taken to novel solutions to staying safe while hugging.
Stay safe and be thankful for your children and your grandchildren.
SGD is a San Francisco Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded companies that market to seniors, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response.
About the Author Duff Reiter is a Partner at SGD Advertising.