Have anyone else wondered how in our life time we have moved from living in a society where your nuclear family was all easily accessible with family just down the road, to one were we now often need to get on a bus or a train or even, hop on a plane.
I grew up in a tiny mining village where doors were never locked, neigbours just knocked and walked in, family were often within walking distence. A one time on row of terraced houses each held one of my Dad's brothers and their family. the village doctor knew each and everyone, often having delivered half of the children running around. We had a village bonfire and could not easily skip off from school as someone would see you and report you to your Mum. The village copper came and knocked if you misbehaved and we could play whip and top in the street with out danger of being run over or kidnapped.
I left this behind, to young really, to understand the value in what i left behind. A city seemed more exciting. I came from this to the annoninimity of London town, where the person who lived next door usually changed each year as few put down real roots, so that same community value was no longer there. I married and raised children, my own and the states , and I re-created my own nuclear family from others I met. I was an older mum in the time of the 80's baby boom. After 27 years I lost my partner in life when my husband died and even though surrounded by wonderful family and friends you realise life has changed and you carry a vacuum and live with that loss which mean you are often alone even when in a crowd. We all adapt.
My children began to leave the nest as I and they grew older. We now had easy travel and so the family spread and so you find new ways to communicate and move from the face to face contact to that of the phone, and then the internet came along and so we use social media like facebook to keep in touch.
My son married and to an American and began his new life and left me and his brother behind. I discovered it was a fine line to "missing" him as we chatted more on the phone than perhaps we did when he said hello as he came in before he went out. We now had more to discuss in some ways and I could get at my phone instead of him hording it. I could actually find it as often he would walk off with it and I would long for the old style attached ones.
My friends wondered how I would cope when my grandson was born. Well I probably was more involved than I would have been had he lived down the road. I attended by SKYPE and was watching my grandson within minutes of his birth. Via skype I have walked with him in the park, chatted by skype over an Iphone with him at his pre school, read him stories and we play Thomas the tank with his "Maka" [ie me} making the train sounds as he pushes his engines around and when they crash his Maka has to be the emergency noise as the rescue crew arrive.
We fly planes and we have even eaten together with him feeding me pretend food which he blows on to cool when I say from the laptop it is toooo hot. He shows me his drawings with the correct side to the camera and often I baby sit to keep him occupied whilst his mum does some cooking.
I am a new species called the SKYPE A GRAN of this new global family. Anymore of you out there?