PunimTime with Grandpa

The Yenta family has found a new source of endless entertainment and contention in our new iPad.

It was ostensibly purchased so that we could communicate with my dad via FaceTime, with the idea it would be positive stimulation as he recovers from his “brain event” a month ago.

My mother and brother both have these amazing little tablets, and it’s really quite amazing how much more connection a conversation creates when you can hear AND see the person on the other side. We’ve watched as dad threw a ball back and forth with his physical therapist and he’s followed intently as Yenta Boy played piano and Little Yenta Girl danced. He’s also been privy to the usual family bickering as brother and sister scuffle for screen time and make weird faces at the small icon depicting their reflection instead of keeping up the conversation, but overall, it’s been such a useful and enjoyable tool.

That is, until El Yenta Man discovered Scrabble for iPad.

Now instead of regaling me with his opinions on Obama’s job plan and reminding me just how beautiful the lawn looks, my husband spends his evenings shouting 7-letter swear words at his computerized opponent. Who, he swears, cheats. “What the hell does ‘juhu’ mean? You made that up, you digital schmuck!”

The only way I can get his attention lately is to sidle through the room murmuring words containing a “Q” and no “U.” I may have to consider an intervention.

Perhaps an auspicious time would be on Sunday, October 2, Ohr Naava’s official Day to Disconnect. The women’s Torah study collective out of Brooklyn, NY is unifying as many folks as possible to shut down and have some real punim time with our loved ones:

Couples connect through texts and not conversations. Parents spend more quality time with their phones than with their kids. In this technology-immersed and busy zeitgeist what does this mean we need to pause and recalculate. For what was supposed to enhance the quality of our lives has diminished it.

If we all just turn off our phones and iPads and laptops for an hour, maybe we’ll all have some quiet time together without the kids shrieking over their PhotoBooth monstrosities or Daddy hollering into a flat square. You can register for the Disconnect Revolution on the DtoD website.

Mostly though, the iPad remains a good thing.

Dad’s moved off the ICU floor finally and has begun rehab, which we all understand will be a long haul. Thanks again for all your good wishes and prayers–what a tremendous community we have around us, from our next-door neighbors to folks in Israel and Africa and even New Jersey. We had a nice long visit this weekend via our iPad (I had to trick it away from EYT by telling him there was some crabgrass out front poking up through the St. Augustine.)

Mysteriously, Dad was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt that said “God Squad” on it with a quotation from John 3:16 on it, probably from some well-meaning nurse. Jesus shirt aside (that nurse might consider being off-shift however once Dad gets his druthers back), he looked and sounded much like himself.

Talking to me face-to-face might’ve been a little confusing for him, as my brother texted later that Dad asked where I went. Bro told him that I was in Savannah, but that I’d be coming to Scottsdale this week.

He paused, then asked, “Is she going to have an attitude?”

See? I do believe he’s going to be just fine.

3 thoughts on “PunimTime with Grandpa

  1. It is so great to hear about your Dad’s progress and that you are able to visit him again soon. He continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Using the iPad for Facetime is really wonderful! I love how all this modern technology can be used to pull us closer, since so much of the time it can (as the quote said) diminish our time together.

    Love to you and your family!

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