“What’s your WIFI password?” asked a cousin at this weekend’s family gathering, a birthday celebration for our grandmother. 94 years. Her birth pre-dates the technological revolution. What did she stare at when she was growing up? Where was her attention directed? What did she do with her thumbs?
At 5 years of age my grandmother threw her own birthday party. Much to the surprise of her parents as neighborhood friends showed up on the doorstep with presents. She initiated interaction not only with the neighborhood kids but her parents. My great-grandfather, the butcher, got a call from my great-grandmother with the grocery order. He collected and loaded it on the next bus, which had a convenient stop at the corner of their block.
Door Dash, GrubHub, ordering online via a grocery app – those were preceded by an emergency birthday phone call and only a bus ride away. No WIFI needed. Party went off without a hitch.
My grandma knows how to be the center of attention. Her requests, her stories, her commentary sparked my mother and aunts and uncles and cousins to start telling life as we know it stories from their POV.
Lively roundtable discussions of days past, interspersed with what’s next in the family lives of youth and elder alike as we await the 9th great-grandchild. Even the TV got turned off because of a bad cable connection. Thankfully we didn’t stare blankly at each other through the void that some video screen is always filling.
No password needed this past weekend because our WIFI – Was Initiating Family Interaction. And we are all better for it. The time spent, the food consumed, catching up, remembering others. We Initiated Family Interaction by foregoing the password.
Pass it on. Word!
Comedy Store trained, World-travelled, Cul-de-sac-living recovering comedian, husband and tinkerer of tools talking about time well spent!