I thought I’d share a memory of my Grandma who died about four years ago.
Although grandma was always old and lady-like as any grandma should be, she did like trying things. I sat next to her in a restaurant one time with these over-the-top thick-rimmed sunglasses. She wanted to try them.
But my favourite, most vivid memory of this was one time in my mid-teens. The grandparents were visiting for a week or so. Long enough to be bored of having them around, so I was back to my usual entertainment choices. I was hiding upstairs in my attic bedroom playing computer games. I was playing “lemmings”.
My grandma came ambling up the stairs, and I was ready to stop what I was doing and chat to her about something which might interest her. But no. She wanted to know exactly what I was doing. And to my huge delight and amusement she wanted to try playing lemmings!
Lemmings is a game involving some mouse clicking (You don’t know what Lemming is??? For goodness sake! Go play it right now!) In later levels it can involve some quite precise and well-timed mouse clicking, but on the very first level there’s not much you can do wrong. All you have to do is click on one of the little lemmings to set him digging a hole.
So I set grandma going on this. It quickly became apparent that she had never used a mouse before. I remember she was initially trying to turn the mouse on the spot rather than sliding it. But it didn’t matter. She was having fun anyway. She stared at the cute little walking lemmings and chuckled as she tried to move the mouse, and eventually managed to click on it.
I remember being so thrilled that she was sitting down and giving this a try. My mum hasn’t inherited whatever this was. Mum had always been disapproving and discouraging of my computer gaming habit, but more than that she had never shown the slightest interest in what a computer game actually is, or why it might be fun. The fact that I was so thrilled to be sharing a computer game with a new person, is no doubt a symptom of my completely game-addled teenage brain at the time. So don’t get me wrong, my mum was right to discourage my habit.
But grandma had a different outlook. I remember being amused, but also impressed as I watched grandma chuckling and swivelling the mouse, and I still cherish this memory of her as someone who approaches life with great curiosity and the willingness to try new things. It’s a good way to live life.