Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Language Lessons

on July 27, 2014

The other day at a family event I asked my fifteen year old grandson Bobby if he wanted to get together for lunch the following week. He said, “Sure. Tuesday’s good. I’ll give you a call.” Tuesday came but no phone call, though I waited at home for one most of the day. I left the ball in his hands thinking that was an appropriate response to respect his growing independence. (Or maybe my not calling him was leftover from all the stilted phone calls I attempted with my grandchildren when I lived in a different city.)

More of the story came to light later in the week when I was talking to my son on the phone about something else. He told me that on Tuesday Bobby had tried to call me on my cell phone a couple of times and even left me a message, but I never responded. He and his brother James were worried that “something had happened to Grandma” when Bobby couldn’t reach me. My son assured them that I was fine. “Grandma keeps her cell phone off and only uses it when she is away from home in case of an emergency.” My son suggested that I call Bobby on his family’s land line about our lunch date. He planned to give Bobby a message to call me on my land line when he got home later in the afternoon.

I was relieved to learn how Bobby’s and my individual choice of communication was the culprit in our failure to connect. We were speaking different languages. More importantly I learned something endearing about my grandson. He did not forget our conversation about lunch. And when he didn’t reach me he was concerned that something had happened to me. It is great to know that he is so dependable and responsible But that is not the end of the story. My lesson was just beginning.

I waited until evening for Bobby to call me. When he hadn’t I decided I would text him since I know that is his preferred mode of communication. The problem was I had only sent two or three texts in my life. I messed around with my cell phone – no frills and on a basic Senior $29.99-a-month plan, texting extra. Finally I managed a mistake-riddled message asking him to call me on my land line and successfully sent it. He texted back, “No problem.” I was elated!

The next day when he still hadn’t called I texted him again, briefly asking which day next week was good for him (I was learning that texting requires few words.) He texted back his choice of days. I replied with a few words giving instructions where to meet me, what time, and where he could safely leave his bicycle. He responded “Alright.” Bingo! Communication completed.

10 responses to “Language Lessons

  1. Meredith says:

    We are lifelong learners. Sometimes it’s the younger generation that teaches us. I really liked your post.

  2. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks. It is amazing how wisdom travels upward through generations.

  3. Rosalind Powell says:

    So glad that you learned “texting” is the way with these young people and for sure NOT the landline phone! (smile) Trust you all had a great time when you did get together.

  4. Even though my grandchildren taught me how to text several years ago and I have a cell phone, my land line phone is my primary means of communicating with friends and family members. I only have one friend in my age bracket who is able to text. But, texting with her is not an option, our conversations are far too long. When I communicate with my grandchildren, I text to say, e.g., how much I miss them, love hem, proud of them, can’t wait to see them and all I get back is K. Took me a while to figure out this meant okay. Also, “LOL” for a long time I thought meant “Lots of Love,” but according to my grandkids its “Laugh Out Loud.”

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks for telling me about your texting skills. I plan to get better at it so I can stay in touch with my grandkids. I think Lots of love is a great interpretation of LOL.

  5. Joan Tatley says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to communicate. But still you both look for ways to hear each other, this is the best part of the story. 🙂

  6. Redg Camarse says:

    This is so cute! I live with my grandma and she always sits me down for a one-on-one tutoring session for texting. Haha. Although you are quite right, people my age really are more comfortable with texting (I always never answer my phone if it’s an unregistered number) but I’m starting to understand the advantages of calling by landline during urgent situations.

    I hope you and your grandson get to talk or meet soon! 😀

    By the way, I mentioned you on my blog tour! You don’t have to do the tour if you don’t want to, I’m just letting you know. 🙂


    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks for telling me about your blog tour, and including me in it. I’m glad you tutor your grandmother in texting. My grandson and I had lunch on Monday and he taught me a few new things about texting. I learned so much about him and his life in our one-on-one conversation. He’s a wonderful person. The grandmother-grandchild relationship is truly special.

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