Friday, December 26, 2008

FOR LONG-DISTANCE GRANNIES

Certain events and times of the year – school concerts, soccer games, piano recitals, and of course, the holidays – are the hardest for us grandmothers who would love to be near our grandchildren. We’ve learned by this stage of life that we can’t always get what we want. Fortunately there is email, and even if we can’t hug our grandchildren in person we can communicate and stay close through cyberspace. I love the email correspondence that I have with my own grandchildren, but I have to say that they all started sending messages quite a bit later than four-year-old Henry, who lives with his little sister, Molly, and his parents in Chicago. Henry and Molly have two faraway grandmothers, one in New York and the other even farther away in Auckland, New Zealand. Fortunately they love to get on the computer and send messages to each other. And sometimes deciphering the messages is part of the fun.

One recent email from Henry to Susan (the NZ granny) read: “hi susan im in belinhim henry.” Susan wrote back “Can you tell me something more about belinhim?” and got this reply: “no susan because just are friends house henry.” Susan explained the mystery: “It was really quite simple when Lizzie [Henry’s mother] explained it. They had driven to a nearby town called Bellingham and stayed the night with friends.”

After Susan sent recipes to Henry (who likes to cook), he wrote back: “hi susan here is a recipe for you okay 50 cups honey 12 cups eggs 1 cup eggs 49 tablespoons carrots.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? The sweetest part, of course, is the connection between Susan and Henry, and Susan’s ability to follow Henry’s developing thought processes and personality.

And a recent email to Fran (the NY granny) read: “hi mommy and meema [Fran] and emma and susan and emily when are you going to come over except my mom because that one is in my family-henry,” followed by “12345678910) (11) 1213141516171819) (20) 212223242526272829) (30) 3132) 33343536373839) 40 414243444546474849) (50) + 50 = 100 –henry.” It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that both Henry’s parents are mathematicians.

But now Henry’s latest email to Fran (“MEMMA DO YOU KNOW THIS SONG SAUZAHALECHOOASAWNASZA”) makes me wonder if he’s a musician as well as a math whiz. Do any of you readers know this song??? It’s a mystery to Fran – and to me.

Happy Emailing – and Happy New Year!

2 comments:

Henry said...

What a boy!

Actually, Henry is a longtime e-mailer and still is NOT YET FOUR! (We're very proud!) And e-mail is not his only medium. We just talked to the NZ granny by Skype and Henry (quite tired) complained that he wanted to talk on the phone. Presumably, he had something private to convey.

Henry offers a wonderful window into early childhood. He used to read himself his own peekaboo books -- and like them!

-Eric (Daddy)

p.s. Our recent locale has been Vancouver, Canada. The "Bellingham" was the city in Washington.

p.p.s. Apparently, this is being posted through Henry's Google account.

Sally Wendkos Olds said...

Hi Henry. I'm sorry I got your age wrong. I think you'll be having your 4th birthday soon. I hope it's a great one! Love, Oma Sally