Most early 20-year-olds are not always tuned in to the news. They study, work, get engaged, married or even begin having a family. If there is a certain issue that grabs their attention, it’s usually because of a possible connection to their environment or social settings. I always try to keep my grandkids connected by sending them an article or giving them details on my activities. I received a big surprise last week when one of the grandkids asked our text group, “Are we going to have a Civil War”? A couple of them laughed, but the granddaughter, who posed the question, was completely serious.
My Grandkids are Worried About the State of the World
I asked her a couple of questions: Why are you asking? Are you concerned? She indicated in one of her classes they had been following the January 6 insurrection rally at the US Capital. The more her class discussed what actually happened, one of her classmates said he thought it looked like the beginning of a Civil War. A couple days later they were still discussing the event and, more recently, other highly charged events.
I was a little shocked at the question, although I had heard something similar. I told all of the grandkids I understood their concern. Then added, it’s normal not to always know what is happening in our cities or country, but we need to pay attention. That’s when I put my teacher hat on, or maybe I should say, I grabbed a piece of chalk.
I asked them what they thought a civil war was. Wrong question! It was like, DUH!
They all knew about the US Civil War in the 1860s and they certainly did not want to be quizzed, or lectured by grandma!
I then asked what their biggest concern was. Three responded with different ideas, but they all focused on the amount of violence they see and hear about each and every day. They all agreed that these acts of violence and similar threats seem to be politically motivated. It was at this moment I realized we all needed to see each other, so I asked if we could have a very quick FaceTime. They were hesitant but agreed.
Helping them Stay Positive
I quickly thought I didn’t want to ask questions like, “What is the worst thing that could happen? OR What is your biggest fear?” I was concerned those types of questions could further lead them down another rabbit hole. My point was to reassure them by seeing each other, and hopefully, make them smile and finish their day on a positive note.
By the look on their faces, I knew I had to make this quick. I reminded the grandkids the US has always had a political divide and that fact will probably never change. I reminded them to make sure they were aware of the issues and to vote. If they ever had any questions, they could ask me and I would do my best to offer some advice.
Lastly, I grabbed a clown nose I’ve kept in the den since they were babies and put it on for them. I tried my best to reenact the same voice I used when they were young and it did the trick. They laughed at my antics. In my “voice”, I told them to work on being happy and healthy and continue to connect with each other. They promised and we signed off. Maybe I should use the clown nose more often!
Grandkids & Grandparents
I have four grandchildren ages 14-17. In some ways, I’m a very typical grandma, always proud of everything the kids do and wanting to help support them in whatever way I can. In other ways, I’m not very typical. My goal as a blogger is to share my thoughts and experiences that I think are funny and meaningful as I adventure through grandmahood.