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    • His parents call using FaceTime 3 or 4 times a week. They are either at school/work, or in bed when they call (They, too, are living in different cities for training. So all three of them are separated.) Grandson probably answers 1/2 the time. They do not know that he is choosing not to answer.

      When they call, inevitably the first question is “How are you?” and then “What did you do in school today?” Both non-starters for a six year old. I could probably spend 20 minutes answering both those questions if they asked me about him. They don’t. They are too tired or too overwhelmed (probably both) with the challenges in their own lives. Gifts they send do not appeal to the child—they don’t even know what he likes.

      I had forgotten how much *time* it takes to be a good parent. Being a good grandparent is very different. At this stage in life, being a good grandparent is totally where it’s at for me. Being a proxy-parent is rough, though I love this little guy to the moon and back.