The hardest part for me about the Corona Virus pandemic is being separated from my grandson Nolan. For over 6 years he’s been spending time every week with me and I miss him desperately. I have only two consolations in this. It leaves me time to be ridiculously absorbed in Unity business, both planning programs and getting us fully online. The other consolation is more comforting. That is the technology known as Face Time. Nolan and I have been having dates on the phone. The dates are wonderful and not at all how I imagined them.

I am really missing snuggles with Nolan. I love our reading time snuggled together. So I’ve imagined Face Time being an opportunity for at least the reading part. And we have done that, for sure. Most times. But there has been so much more that I didn’t see coming. To clarify, Nolan is 8-1/2. He is a wild boy child with all the energy that name implies. He also has very limited opportunities to hold the phone in his own hands and do what he wants with it. But both of his parents want him to stay connected with me, so they let him use their phones.

Did you know that while talking on Face Time, you can simultaneously text and send poop Emojis? It’s a thing. Or, did you know that, if the phone is positioned just right, it’s possible for the person on the other end to watch you bounce on the trampoline? It is far less entertaining to watch the other person playing on their pinball machine. Maybe if there were a different vantage point.

Yesterday, I got to watch him open a package I sent him in the mail with a variety of goodies. That was very fun. His mom made him read me a page of the book about pugs (one of his obsessions) that I found for him. But then, he’d had enough sitting and he regaled me with mousetrap battles. By dropping a Lego onto one trap, he made it leap in the air and attack the other one. Thank God there were no actual mice involved. He showed me around his room, as he just moved to a new house, and showed me that his bunk bed is there now. He also demonstrated how to float in the air. In case you want to try this, lay the phone on the ground and hover over it. This will make you appear to be flying.

After the mousetrap battles and the floating skills, he changed into a pink leopard costume and made faces at me. At the very end of our visit he was willing to listen to a couple of pages of the chapter book we’re reading. All in all, this was a great visit. I was nearly as exhausted by the end of it as I am when he goes home on Saturday mornings! But mostly, it showed me that what matters most to a child, and probably to all of us, is to be experienced. When I witness him doing what he enjoys doing, then he feels like I care about him. I am willing to walk in his world instead of insisting he walk in mine. Maybe, after a few more Face Time dates with my young teacher, I’ll understand more about heart full relationships than I ever learned in books, trainings or marriages.

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