April 7th 2010.Today I was travelling by bus to go to my children's school to meet the teachers. It was 2.30p.m. It was very hot . When I got into the bus I felt the coolness of the a.c touching every cell of me. I wanted purposefully to dose off because it was a 45 minutes bus journey. I wanted to utilize the time productively?? I love sleeping when travelling by bus or car. People with motion sickness will envy me --I truly understand. This time a scene in front of me grabbed my attention and made me not to sleep. There was an old man , must be 75 years old at least sitting with his 4 years old grand daughter. Looked like he had picked her up from school and was taking her back home. They both were talking for a few minutes . Mostly one-sided conversation. She was telling him what happened in school. He was listening to every word with so much attention and surprise. Inbetween he took a chance to say "is it, wow, ok". More than these expressions she would not let him speak more. She had lot of things to say.(only girls will have tons of stories to say at any age--they can register and replay. Boys can only register --no replaying)
After having spoken so much the girl became tired. Then the little girl fell asleep in her grandfather's lap. The old man, who himself needed to hold on something to support him was holding his grand-daughter tightly so that she might not slip off from his lap. He had her head rested on his lap. He was not happy about the little girl resting her head on his rough pants I guess. He put his palm under her head to make it feel like a soft pillow. With one hand under her head and the other hand holding on to the side of the seat he was sitting without moving so that his little angel will have a peaceful sleep. He was admiring her face with a smile when she was fast asleep. The girl was drooling in his palm. He didn't mind that. Now and then he took his other hand from the seat and patted softly on her back to ensure her that he was there to take care. She slept peacefully for 30 minutes. Even while writing this I am able to visualize the whole scene again.
Then he woke her up saying that they need to get down after a few stops. She was reluctant to wake up. She was sooo tired from school that she could not even open her eyes. He kept on telling her some sweet words.(he was speaking chinese--I interpreted it to be sweet words because he was saying it with a smile). Though she did not want to wake up still she tried to open her eyes. She rubbed her eyes to have a clear view. Her cheeks were pink because she had pressed it against his palm while sleeping. He removed his hand that was under her head and wiped off the saliva she had drooled, in his pants. He combed her hair that was falling on her forehead with his fingers. Seeing this I felt sleepy. But did not want to miss the lovely scene. Still she was lying on his lap. He told her there were only two more stops for them to get down.(this I understood because he told her in English). By this time she woke up and sat . He took her school bag and lunch bag in one hand. Then held her with the other hand and got ready to get down. The stop in which they had to get down approached. They both got down slowly and walked . I was doubtful whether the girl was holding the man for support or the grandfather was holding her little hand for support. They walked hand in hand. I could not remove my eyes from them till the bus started moving.
I continued my journey physically to the school but mentally I was travelling into my world of thoughts. The whole 30 minutes I got to see how a grandfather showered his love on his grand daughter was, shall I say adorable,or cherishable, or lovable or sweet nostalgic feeling? It is all the sweet feelings put together. I felt that the girl as well as the old man were lucky to have each other. It gave them both a sense of security and love. "I am there for you and you are there for me kind of feeling". I could see the sense of bonding between them. I was reminded of my grandparents who used to stay with us when I was small.
These days we all are living as nucleus families. Our children get to see their grand parents once a year or once in two years. The love they show each other is also in ration. The grandparents want to shower all their love on their grandchildren in those few days or months they get to spend with them .The grandchildren are not in a position to enjoy it because they are not able to bond with them closely --the reason being the time gap in which they get to see them and because of the generation gap( this is what they call it).
With much force( we cannot convince them only force works) we try to make our children do the monotonous conversation with our parents over the phone every week .The conversation goes like "How are you? I am fine. O.K. Let me give the phone to my mama or papa." We are trying to build a bond via phone calls. We are so used to virtual living that we think sending photos and videos will act as glue to bind our children and our parents closely. They both live in different environment . The grandparents mostly don't have anything in common to talk about other than their good old days which the millennium children do not have patience to listen to. Our children's lives revolve only around us-the parents. Grand parents are referred as "your dad", "your mom". They are not part of their life. Are we depriving our kids from getting the love of grandparents? Yes. We are depriving our aging parents from showering their love on the grandchildren too. In the little girl 's life her grandfather is part of her life. He seems to do so many things for her. The love, the confidence , the dependency she shows on him is because she feels her grandfather's presence in every walk of her life.
Our children are totally depended on us for everything. Whether it is love or anger our children see it only through our eyes. We get angry one minute and after some time we ourselves console them. They do not have any loving shoulder to lean on when they are unhappy. They are not sure when we will be happy and when we will be showing the other side of us. That is why they do not value our love or anger with due importance. We ourselves try to justify our anger by explaining to them the reason behind it. In the worst case an extra hour of tv or playing with the electronic gadgets makes them very happy .Voluntarily or involuntarily we also encourage this because we feel they need some solace through some source--be it living or non-living doesn't matter. There is no one else to explain to them or console them. Hence according to our children the exhibition of human love is something "mechanical". They cannot accept even our parents as part of their family because they are not in their everyday walk of life. Is the far away distance from our parents the reason for this short coming ? Or is it because we all are living a self-centered life? It is good to have space between relationships . But such a big space widens the relationship itself. It leaves a vacuum at the end of the day. What can substitute the love of grandparents?