Last week… July 28, 2011, to be exact… my sister’s daughter – my niece Jennifer – had a baby girl. Myla Rose.
Genealogy being what it is, that makes my sister a grandmother (a ‘nonna’, in Italian) and it makes my mother a bisnonna (great-grandmother).
Next month, my other niece, Jennifer’s younger sister Angela, is also going to have a baby, doubling the pleasure all around.
Recently, more than a few friends of mine have become grandparents.
I expect in the next few years, my own kids… the Kiddie-Winkers, aka Exhibits One and Two… will likely get married and have children, making me a zayde (grandfather, in Yiddish)!
The next generation is coming in fast and furious, folks, so might as well brace for it.
Looking back at what things were like when my sister and I were little kids – back when dinosaurs ruled the world – and comparing it with how things are now, I am sure this coming generation is in for some wild times. But unlike many of the more pessimistic out there, I am sure that things in the future will be better and brighter. I, for one, would not like to go back to how things were in the late 50s and early 60s.
I love computers. I love cellphones and text messages. I love Google and Wikipedia and Facebook and automated banking machines and bank account transactions by phone or laptop. And while I do not yet have a smartphone, when I get one, I promise you that I will be completely nuts about it.
And I love love love shutting all these things down for a 25-hour period once a week for Shabbes and putting the world on hold, just for a little while.
And therein layeth the lesson, my dear friends.
The more hectic life gets, the more fast-paced our lives… the more we need to unplug on a regular basis, slow down, take deep breaths and just enjoy being alive. Things move very quickly now, more quickly than ever before. If we teach our grandchildren anything… it should be to take the time to appreciate life as it is happening.
Parents of little kids can’t really do this. Bless their hearts but they truly can’t. They are too busy working and providing for the kids and making a living and arguing about money and driving between soccer practice, dance lessons, hockey games, little league and just trying to make ends meet. It is our responsibility as grandparents and grandparents-to-be to make a concerted effort to teach this brand new and most exciting generation not to miss it.
And we don’t do it by talking at them. We sometimes can’t even do it by talking to them. And we sure as heck can’t do it by starting every other sentence with, “When I was your age…!”
But we can do it by showing them.
Kids aren’t stupid. They may be inexperienced. They may be naïve. But they sure ain’t dumb. They may not listen to what parents and grandparents say but they sure are watching what we do!
Let us teach these things diligently to our children… to the next generation.