A very common dialogue that I had with many customers when I had my retail business. We all begrudge it, yet wish our children well. We miss the opportunities to play or even growl our grandchildren, yet know the challenge of watching a little toddler and sigh with relief.
We send our children to school, to develop skills that we assume will help them in adult life. As teenagers they develop a sense of self, coupled with a desire to follow “a calling”. One of which is to travel & settle somewhere out of NZ.
As parents, we nurture, support & guide them into a direction that we hope will encourage their own individual greatness. Then we pack them up with their teddy bear, a sandwich, a passport, a wad of cash and send them on their way!
We follow them on social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook. We talk to them over skype or messenger video, keeping up with what is going on in their world. We get excited for them and the new promotion or job. We listen when the world seems too big and they aren’t coping. We send Marmite, tomato sauce, Squiggles and Golden Syrup as presents for birthdays & Christmas.
We feel elated and happy when they introduce us to a new boyfriend/girlfriend through the tablet screen. Then new words are introduced in our dialogues…… he/she’s a Keeper, I’m in love Mum, special, We this, We that…..and then……..it hits us……..BOOM!!!!!!
THEY ARE NEVER COMING HOME!
And so it begins. We baby boomers scramble to learn social media because sooner or later…. there will be grandchildren…. and we don’t want to miss out. So we practice “Virtual babysitting”….lol, We learn their local language, we send presents online, we Snapchat, we add peanut butter, Tim Tams, Kiwi and Pukeko bird toys that make the real sounds, to the next shipment over.
I am one of these parents. Its a journey of joy and laughter, sadness and pain. Its the way of the millennial baby boomer parent. Embrace it, Accept it and Enjoy them.