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Long Distance Grandmother Shares Her Bitter Sweet Story

 By GRANDmom, Patricia Patti

     I have tried to be congenial, even stoic about the distance my family lives apart, but it is not easy. I miss all of life’s little celebrations. As I get older I have learned to accept things as they are and take what I can get.

My first grandchild, Emma, lives in Los Angeles and I live in New York. While fretting the disconnect from my flesh and blood, my son came up with a solution. He hooked our computers with cameras and microphones and the internet service known as Skype.

This technology has improved my ability to grandparent across the miles. I try to convince myself that the quality and instantaneous nature of the video is the next best thing to being there. I can interact with my granddaughter as clearly as if she is sitting on my lap. Or can I?

On my son’s side in California, he has a wireless laptop that he conveniently totes around his home and sets it down wherever the action is happening. I must remain at my desk computer in an upstairs bedroom

One weekend, to enhance my chat with the baby, my son placed his computer on the ground in his backyard. He sat my granddaughter in the grass facing the screen. My nine month old sweet heart laughed and made silly faces at me. I morph into a silly cartoon bobbing my head in and out of the camera’s view. She is an ideal excuse for me to lose all my maturity!

The best part of cradling a child is the sensory delights, nuzzling my nose in her sweet smelling hair, kissing her tiny fingers and toes. For the time being I must be content with lip prints on my computer screen!

Suddenly, and to my horror, the baby picks up an unknown object and slowly raises it to her mouth. I panic. I feel helpless at the impending hazardous situation. This amazing advanced technology cannot help me help her. I scream out to my son, “Help, Help, can you hear me?” I watch the video shake and vibrate as my son runs over to his laptop. He leans down and his face enters the field of view. “What, what???” he asks.“ Look at her hand!”, I cry.  He reaches around and grabs the concerned article from her tiny clenched fist and proclaims it only a freshly fallen lemon!

I have since moved across the country to enjoy my three grandchildren and

I love to make pitchers of sweet lemonade when I visit!


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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