Think about an Irish family in the 1800s. Their adult child and his or her family were going off to the New World, to make their way with a brand-new start. If you were the grandparent at the dock, you’d hug that sweet family goodbye, knowing you would most likely never see them or hear their voices again. Ever.
Through the course of your lifetime, you’d receive an occasional letter, arriving months after it was written. If you were incredibly lucky, you’d get a photo every ten years or so. Can you imagine how hard that would be!
Contrast that to today. My age 5 grandson Anderson telephones us on his Mommy’s phone, “Let’s FaceTime, Gram and Grandpa! We’re at the bus stop and I want to show you the school bus!”
FaceTime and Skype are the leading “video chat” applications and there’s also Facebook Portal. These video chat systems let you see and talk to your grandchildren in real time for as long as they want.
Without a doubt, video chatting is the best way of staying connected.
Make FaceTime or Skype part of your world and you can be more involved with your grandkids than some grandparents who have their grandkids just a couple of miles away! When we travel to visit our grandchildren at their home, they often leap into our arms. Sure, we’re visitors but because we’re part of their everyday lives through FaceTime or Skype, we are not strangers.
Our grandchildren know every room of our house … have tea parties with us … watch grandpa use the snowblower to clear the driveway … see hummingbirds on our patio … help me decide what placemats to use for a dinner party. We play games … sing songs … read books … and act silly quite often – all through video chatting. I even have Art Appreciation lessons with Charlotte, our 7-year old granddaughter who is home schooled.
We prop up the iPad on the kitchen table and talk to them over our breakfast … we get to see them finger paint … they have watched us decorate our Christmas tree every year. We carry our iPad all around the house. We also video chat on the go, when we’re at an event or on vacation. Life is fuller and richer because of our video chats and I truly know we enrich and bring joy to their lives.
Magic moment: Our daughter-in-law called us recently and asked us to FaceTime with the kids who were in their front yard. They had just spotted a rainbow and right away said, “Let’s show it to Gram and Grandpa!” That makes my heart soar that they wanted to show us. That’s how involved you can be in their lives through video chatting.
Would I rather have them in town? But of course! Would I give up video chats? Not for a million bucks.
Do you video chat? In the Comments section below, tell us how it makes a difference in your relationship with your grands. Thank you!