Sunday, March 24, 2013

Long Distance Doesn't Mean Gone!

UPDATE:  Since my grandkids moved away, overall, I have probably spent as much (or more) quality time with them as I did before.  I used to visit them one evening a week but it was usually a rushed-time and not much quality time.  Now, when I see them, it's all about me and them and spending time together and having fun (well, as much as mommy and daddy will let us).  I don't get to see the daily things they do that make them special, but facebook takes care of a lot of that ha ha.  I communicate with them by e-mail, Skype, facetime, messaging, sending cards and stories, and the odd "surprise", and also by playing the games they do (or at least "Googling" to find out what they are talking about ha ha.)  They are getting older and have lots going on with dance, etc., so the 'Story Before Bed', as much fun as it was, isn't happening so much anymore but the books we did read together, or apart, are available to us for as long as we want) and the kids still like to do it when I'm with them and encouraging them to do it for me ha ha... 


Well, it's happening; I will soon be a long distance grandparent. My son is moving because he has a job offer in another Province and the bonus is that he will only have to work 1 job instead of 3, so as much as I enjoy my Grannie-time, my grandkids enjoy their daddy-time too and this opportunity will allow them to spend more time together, which is fantastic, so I can't be too upset about this change of events. I will definitely miss being able to hop in my car and visit them when I want though but I will survive and so will my grandchildren. I have had a great opportunity to establish a connection with them early on and I don't plan to let that slip away from me. The old wheels are already spinning as I get prepared for this change. What do I need to do to ensure I am spending as much time with them as I am used to? Well, I'm lucky enough to be living in a great age of technology so keeping in touch by facetime (on my new iPad) or by Skyping, is a start; which will mean I have to get used to apps, etc., but I have no problems learning all about that now that I have a great reason to. Of course, this will have to be coordinated with their parents in order for it to work and for me not to be seen as a nuisance rather than someone everyone wants to hear from, ie, I will need to find out what time is best, what day is best, etc. Also, I will need to keep in touch to be sure I know about special events so that I can make an "appearance" at those important times but also so we can talk about them. It seems there are a lot of good apps that are interactive that we can share too like Readeo or A Story Before Bed are two sites that I am going to try. There are other ways to keep in touch though too; how about the old-fashioned "snail mail" (as it is now referred to). Kids love getting things in the mail that has their name on it; magazine subscriptions, cards, letters, gift boxes, crafts (that I can send them to do then can either watch them make it or see the finished product on facetime), sending magnets of me and their family for their fridge; the possibilities are endless! And there is always the phone but with facetime Or Skyping you can actually "see and talk" rather than just talking - keeping in mind their short attention spans and they can't appreciate a funny face on the phone!

Now, for everyone who is feeling sorry for me because they know how much I love my Grannie-time (and who doesn't), I will be fine. Some people even think I will need new children to replace my own when they move away but be assured that I don't need anyone but my own grandchildren; they are moving...they are not GONE. Remember, even if you are in the same City or close enough to drive, you can enjoy some of these long-distant tips too; I never thought of these things before but there's no reason not to take advantage of these opportunities even when you are close! As much as it will be a change for everyone, it's also an exciting time for them, with a new home, new friends and a new City to explore so I am happy for them, even though I will definitely miss them. Nothing will replace being able to hug and kiss them in person but that's what visits are for and before I visit, I'll get mommy and daddy (instead of me trying to send in the mail) to get them some little chocolate kisses so they can count down with kisses until we see each other again in person and I will get myself some chocolate kisses too so we can count down together. Enjoy watching your grandkids spread their wings and be there to hear about their adventures! Love what grandkids bring to your life no matter what the circumstances.