Thursday, May 6, 2021

Jigsaws and Conversation

When the kids moved 45 seconds away from SIR's parents, I worried that it would be difficult to create the kind of bond that proximity breeds.  It's the little things, I thought.  The ring pop Papa brings every time he drops in, Maga's store of crafts and tea sets..... how could I compete with that?

It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I wrote letters and sent presents and we would, every once in a while, try a video chat.  TBG and I visited as often as we could without feeling like an invading horde.  It was fine; we made our own memories and they were powerful and wonderful.

Then Pandemica hit.  Instead of flying to visit last March, FlapJilly and I spent an hour or two every day or so, drawing and reading and talking on Zoom while Mom and Dad tried to work and care for a toddler.  As things sorted themselves out, and the family returned to some semblance of order, we'd settled into a lovely routine - dinner with the grandkids, brought to us by FaceTime and our daughter.  

It was a chance for Little Cuter to download her day into sympathetic ears, and for the aching hearts of lonesome grandparents to be blanketed in the chaos of home-dinner-bath-bed time without leaving the comfort of our own home.  We've probably spent more time with them this year than we ever have before. 

But my favorite times are when FlapJilly asks if her mom will connect her to Gramma so we can do puzzles together.  A combination of laptops and iPads and cell phones lets us move the pieces on the same puzzle, always leaving the last few for FlapJilly to finish off  before the dancing and cheering icons on the bottom of the screen prompt us to get out of our chairs and move with them.

Today, the phone rang and the kid herself wondered if I wanted to do puzzles.  Usually shy on the phone, this was a new step on the path to girlhood.  And there was more.  She's reading the descriptions - Mongolian horses at sunset - and chatting up a storm.  She's enjoying the chapter book we sent.  Her cooking subscription box arrived, and Peruvian Pupusas are on the menu for this week... along with many jokes surrounding the work pupusa.

With a Cinqo de Mayo theme, the Talking Cards asked relevant questions, although which South American country would you like to visit left my granddaughter with a perplexed look on her face.  I chimed in about the giant telescope array in Chile which will see deeper into space than ever before before her mom came in and read the recipe for fried flatbread with cheese and announced that it had a spot on the meal plan.

It was drivel and it was silly and it was certainly not profound.  It was an amusing way to spend an afternoon at home; I was still in my pajamas when she called at noon.  During lock down, this would have been the highlight of my week.  It's one of the things I'm going to remember to hold on to as things start to open up.


  1. What a wonderful connection you have created with your granddaughter.

    1. I give Little Cuter a lot of credit for keeping things fresh and fun. I'm a lucky woman!


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