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Carol Perkins: Little ones just don't think about grands' lives
'I never asked my grandmothers about their lives, but I wish I had. I never asked my grandpas about their young days but I know I should have. At the time I really wasn't very interested. Then I was and it was too late.' - CAROL PERKINS
Next previous column: Carol Perkins: Lessons from Sadie Hawkins Day
By Carol Perkins
Engaging children in a phone conversation is like pulling teeth. They answer with one-word responses. Usually while we are talking they have one eye on the TV or both hands on a keyboard playing a game or texting. When there is dead silence, I know they are somewhere else instead of with me. My grandsons are much worse than my granddaughter. She is full of news.
Each time I call, I ask them questions about school and sports or whatever they are doing. Then I say, "Tell me something I don't know." They have come to expect that question, so are usually prepared. It may range from finding a frog on the sidewalk to entering a poster in a contest. They tell me about activities that they know I am missing. I always end our conversations with, "Ask me something you want to know about me."
This always causes a delayed response and I have fun waiting for them to dream up something to ask. They are never prepared. One of them might ask what I have been doing. Another might ask when I am coming to see them, but the youngest one is not prone to patronizing grandma.
"Noah, ask me something?" I was not expecting his response.
"Well," he paused, trying to think of something. Finally he said, "I'm not really interested." At seven years old he is already not interested. I said, "You aren't interested in what your Cici is doing?"
"Not really." I laughed so hard I thought I was going to have an accident.
When I told Guy about the conversation, we both agreed that what he said sums up how most youngsters view older people; they like us and have fun with us but as for our lives, they don't think about it one way or another. To them, we were never young, never played kickball or ran relay races or swam in the creek. We have always been old. (Compared to others)
It took me many years to want to know about my grandparents and aunts and uncles. I often dream about being at one or the other of my grandparents' homes and their houses are always so vivid and I am young.
I never asked my grandmothers about their lives, but I wish I had. I never asked my grandpas about their young days but I know I should have.
At the time I really wasn't very interested. Then I was and it was too late.
This story was posted on 2015-10-01 15:30:45
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