The challenges of bridging the generation gap

He is six-years-old and his hockey jersey hangs almost to his knees. But he is so cute, it doesn’t matter.

He is six-years-old and his hockey jersey hangs almost to his knees.

But he is so cute, it doesn’t matter.

His first game was Sunday and I was there in the bleachers waving and yelling and being all silly. The cool thing was when I waved; he looked up in the stands, saw me, took off his hockey glove and waved back.

How many players do that?

When he actually got the puck and fired (did I say fired?), perhaps carefully shot the puck at the net without falling over would be a better description, I was there. I was there, in the stands, yelling and saying stuff like, “oh my goodness, he has the puck, oh, oh, oh, he is shooting.”

My daughter, mildly embarrassed, berated me gently, “mom, did you take your heart medication?”

To say the least, it was exciting, this first game of the season. It was topped off with a visit to Tim Horton’s and finally a rousing political discussion, which lead to nowhere. However, we all felt smarter and wiser afterwards and decided we knew more than all the know-it-all people on Facebook, who apparently know everything.

She is nine-years-old and her skating costume is electric blue, which, incidentally, is the same colour as her eyes.

She is an amazing little skater. I picked her out, one of the many contestants vying for a medal at Arena A, which, as it so happened, was blocked by about two million people, who also had amazing little skaters out there competing in Arena A.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” I said politely trying to elbow my way through the crowd so I could be there in the stands watching her performance which lasted less than three minutes.

I made it.

Afterwards I stood with her mom and dad and her other grandparents and watched while she bent her little neck forward and the lady obligingly placed a silver medal around it.

Grandma pride glowed once again and I felt all happy and proud and pleased with myself and life in general.

She is 13-years-old and favors plaid shirts and blue jeans and is quite attached to her cell phone.

I love her so much and I want to communicate with her like I’m a cool grandma that relates to teen talk because I’m all hip and awesome.

I pick her up from her music lesson and attempt to be that way, all hip and awesome.

“Hey,” I say. “Hey,” she says back, texting an unknown someone on her phone.

“So what’s new in your life,” I say, not ready to give up on being hip and awesome.

“Nothin,” she said, barely raising her eyes.

At that moment, I forget about being hip and awesome and resort to being all grandma like.

“Emilie, you have 10 minutes to spend with your grandma,” I say. “Talk to me.”

She sighs and puts her phone away and I am encouraged. She chats with me a little, telling me she does like piano, but she is not good at it.

“So, what’s new with your family?” I ask, thinking I am making inroads.

“Nothin,” she said, looking pensive and slightly bored.

“I wonder what car your mom will use to pick you up?” I venture finally.

“Probably the red one,” she said. “We bought a new car yesterday.”

“What?” I said. “Yeah,” she said, matter of factly. “It’s red.”

“No kidding,” I say. “I love red.”

“Yeah, me too,” she said and we smile at each other, pleased we have found a common ground.

Grandchildren! Challenging, fun and completely wonderful, wherever they may be!


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