Some twenty-five years ago our son and his wife presented us with our first grandchild. She was the centre of our life and our pride and joy, and over the subsequent fifteen years she was joined by another six grandchildren, three from the same couple and three from our daughter and her husband. It goes without saying that we adore and cherish each and every one of them.
Eventually our youngest son got married and life continued pretty much as before for all concerned. But a week ago that same son and his wife presented us with their first child, a little girl amid general rejoicing.
In the ten years since our previous last grandchild was born life and technology have changed. How did we manage to stay in touch with our offspring and other relatives before the days of email, Facebook and above all Whatsapp? How otherwise could we be apprised of every fleeting expression, mood and movement of our nearest and dearest without these essential elements of daily life.
And so it is that at our request a special Whatsapp group was formed for the new arrival in which the proud parents post pictures of the little one whenever the fancy takes them, which is quite often. And it also gives the proud grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, whether near or far, to have their say and make comments as to the cuteness, awesomeness, pulchritude and evident intelligence of the newest addition to the family.
The wonders of modern technology enable us, the happy entrants into the realm of second grandparenthood (akin to a second childhood), to enjoy the sight but not necessarily the sound of the baby crying, knowing that it isn’t us who’ll be woken up in the night by it, and to marvel at the glorious spectacle of her chubby cheeks and sparkling eyes.
So if you happen to meet one of us please don’t be alarmed if we take out our mobile phones to share this newest wonder of the world with you. It’s not our fault. We can’t help it. You can blame Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg if you like, but I personally will be eternally grateful to them.