Thursday, April 26, 2018

Generation gaps

My kids have no idea how to answer the telephone or leave a voice message. Their door etiquette is also lacking—Miriam opened the door shortly after dinner and when the visitor asked if her grandpa was at home she simply chirped, "Yes!" and then skipped away—not to find him, just away. We had to instruct her to go find Grandpa so she ran all around the house looking for him, only to return to the door and announce with a flourish, "He's going to the bathroom!"

This same person knocked on our door around 9:00 this evening (it was a church key exchange) and Benjamin, who had taken a post-bedtime trip to the downstairs toilet (since the upstairs toilet was occupied), opened the door on his way upstairs.

"You're not in bed yet?" she asked (because, should five-year-olds really be flinging the front door open when it's dark outside? Luckily I can see the front door from the upstairs).

He said nothing but ran upstairs and hopped into bed.

We have a bit of work to do with our children in these areas.

But, seriously though, who does things like call or drop by without texting first these days?

I got a letter in the mail today, from Raymond, Alberta (where my (big) family is deeply rooted). It was from one of my mom's cousins, who is in his mid-eighties. I had asked him (on Facebook—and kudos for being on Facebook) to send a life sketch of his sister to me (she passed away this past fall and I wanted to include her life sketch in our family newsletter) and he sent me the following message: I have today written something for you to use, but do not have your address to send it to you. It is too long to e-mail or facebook. Please send me your mailing address to me at Raymond.

With a message like that I wasn't quite sure what to expect because when my Grandpa Layton's sister passed away (also last year) and I asked one of her sons (who lives in the Carolinas, where my own little family feels deeply rooted) to send me a copy of the eulogy they read at the funeral I ended up with a manila envelope in my hand—thirteen pages of information! It was great! Much more than I was expecting, but great! Still short enough to forward in an email, but great!

So, like, if what this other cousin was sending was "too long to e-mail" I was nearly biting my nails, wondering what he was going to send me.

Imagine my surprise when it was a regular envelope with two pieces of paper inside. He had written a short letter to me with an update on his family (for the family newsletter), as well as a lovely six-paragraph tribute to his older sister.

His words were truly wonderful, but I had to smile to myself about him thinking a one-page article was enough to break the internet.

I also smiled quite a bit this past Sunday when I spent a good quarter of an hour on the phone with Grandpa Frank, trying to explain how to make avocado toast. He's a real millennial millennial.

Now I wonder about what kinds of things I missed out on learning that my parents shook their head over and what kinds of things I won't know how to do that my children will shake their heads about...

(Maybe it's blogging. Isn't blogging kind of over? Yet here I am...still blogging...)


  1. Glad you're still blogging. The title made me think of the gap between generations, and this birthyear list:
    1852 Anna
    1886 Ida
    1915 Arnold
    1950 Bruce
    1987 Elizabeth
    2013 Bridget
    three generations per hundred years, for a generation gap of 33 +/-

    1. Yes, our family likes to do generations a little bit differently! Keeps us in closer touch with previous centuries!

  2. I'm glad you are still blogging, too!

    That's funny about the one-page article breaking the internet. :) :)