I’m not sure who the wise a$$, err, I mean wise man was who originally said that our grandchildren keep us young. I don’t want to know who he was. I would probably march right over there and kick him in his wise a$$.
Don’t take that statement the wrong way. I love my grandchildren. They are an endless source of love and hugs. I just wish they would let me age gracefully. Well, at least as gracefully as I want to.
In my previous life as a network engineer I was technically savvy. I had to be. It was part of my job and in some strange way I loved all the technology. That was when technology changed every three or four years. That was when Palm Pilots were the latest greatest thing since Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 was going to rule the world. Yeah right.
I left that world years ago. The very same year that my grandson Matthew was born. I left the world of technology for a reason. I wanted to spend more time with my grandchildren. I got to do that for about one year.
When Matthew reached his second birthday, and entered the terrible twos, I entered the terrible “technology has you now and will never let go” stage of grandparentism. I was introduced to childhood electronics. Electronic riding toys. Electronic learning devices. Electronic video amusement machines. Push it yourself, pull it yourself, ride it with your own power didn’t exist. What happened to the world when I wasn’t looking?
Today my grandchildren range in age from seven months to fourteen years. The world of technology I thought I left behind visits me almost every weekend. My oldest grandson introduced me to MySpace, and iPods, and “smarter than I am” phones. The eight year olds try to teach me about Nintendo DS when I’m an Atari Grandmother.
We do have videos in my home for them to watch, DVD’s as it were. They ask about Blue Ray and HD TV. I’ve had to take up reading technical journals again just to understand what they’re talking about. Yes, I am a speed reader, but I am not a speed listener or a speed understander. They’re birthday lists and Christmas lists are written in Techno-Greek. I don’t speak or read normal Greek.
I do Facebook out of necessity. My friends do Facebook. My grandchildren do MySpace. Regular e-mail I can handle. I have my own webpage and can even manage to update my own blog. I carry a Blackberry because I travel a lot. I know how to dial the Blackberry to talk to people. I can answer the phone and even check my e-mail. The nice people at the phone store set the e-mail up for me. I don’t know how to turn it off. I may get my grandson Matthew to do that this weekend for me. If I do, I’ll have to get him to explain to me how to turn it back on so I have access to it when I travel. That along with explaining what those funny little symbols mean that keep popping up on the face of the damn thing.
Back to that wise guy who said grandchildren keep you young. He may have been referring to the fact that they keep you active. That they give you endless supplies of hugs and love. He may have even thought that grandchildren listen to stories their grandparents tell and learn valuable lessons from them. I suspect he never envisioned the reverse. Oh yes. My grandchildren keep me young. Keep me on my toes. And keep me up with technology. I go along, kicking and screaming a bit. At least this time I am not in charge of it all. They are. I rather like it that way. Now if they can just show me some technology to slow down the aging process and add to the gracefully thing.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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