augmented Life

Augmented Grandpa

photoI know what you’re thinking: Skype. To which I say, with grandfatherly verve, pshaw. Skype? That’s so pre-Mayan-apocalypse! The real augmented Grandpa is way beyond that.

  • The Augmented Grandpa texts his Middle Daughter/Running Partner: “I have to watch Harvey tomorrow. How about we all go to the coffee shop before Natasha works, and we can run from there while she watches him and have hot cocoa after?” 
  • Of course, Natasha is copied on the message.
  • Augmented Grandpa uses trusts Augmented Middle Daughter’s estimation as to the best mile-marker along the lake route they’re running.
  • Augmented runners check in on Foursquare with a great picture when they reach the mile marker, providing a great excuse for Augmented Grandpa to catch his un-augmented breath.
  • Meanwhile, Harvey at the coffee shop is worried. “Where’s Grandpa?” he asks Natasha. She pulls up Google Latitude and they watch the little icon as it slowly moves along the map.
  • Augmented Grandpa uses media judiciously, but is glad it’s there. Victor (youngest grandson) loves Sesame Street, and it’s a fun thing to share (but holy cow how it’s changed!).
  • Meanwhile, the toys the grandsons are getting are determinedly lo-tek: lincoln logs and blocks. But you can be sure Augmented Grandpa will be replicating the coolest lincoln log projects he can find.
  • Augmented Grandpa is also Augmented Dad, and he also goes to see Eldest Twin Daughter showing off her skills on World Hoop Day.
  • Augmented Grandpa is not perfect; miscommunicated texts means that sometimes he thinks he’s watching grandkids or meeting daughters or parents when in fact he isn’t. But other times it means he can go from “Lunch with Dad” to an quad-generational Great-Grandparentalooza for lunch with a few quick texts and a phone call. You can’t stop the signal, you just have to use the right media for the right people.

There are other instances of the Augmentation of Grandpa’s life, like when Youngest Daughter walked in to find Grandpa and the Boys bellowing the Pirate King Tune at the top of their lungs in the living room (thankfully, she arrived after Victor was removed from standing on the table). It’s not about fasting from technology; it’s not about staying away from the richness of culture. It’s about the right application of the right tech at the right time.

It’s fun being Augmented Grandpa.

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