I thought I heard myself talking this morning. House guests (a woman my age) and her daughter-in-law (my daughter's college roommate) were in town for the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert Sanity/Fear rally. First thing in the morning--before coffee and before making sandwiches and signs for the big day on the Mall--she [the mother] Skyped her daughter who lives in London. It was a rare chance to have the California daughter-in-law chat with the London daughter. The conversation was like a page from my own book: She was encouraging her daughter's children--her grandchildren--to say hi to Auntie Megan, to show off their Halloween costumes, to tell Auntie Megan this and tell her that. I could hear the kids--reluctant to show off on Skype--horsing around in the background. And there was BaBa [the grandma's name of choice] trying to work her will and get the grandkids to connect with the an aunt who lives far away.
The next day I Skyped my daughter so she and her roommate could chat and, too, so our grandchild could show just how adorable she is. The two roommates had a wonderful visit but, of course, my Grand was, like the children in London, less than cooperative about performing for the Webcam. And I tried to work my will but, like my house guest, had to let it go.
We are what we are. We make Herculean efforts to keep up family and close-friend connections. And it's making the connection possible--not showing off the progeny--that counts.