The year 2020 brought a lot of change to our family. Thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic, my son, who is the father of my only grandchild, lost his local job with a company he thought he’d be with forever. He recently obtained a job with a highly-respected company, but unfortunately for us, that job is in Tennessee which means he and my daughter-in-law and our two-year old grandchild will be relocating several states away from us.
February is heart month and my heart is in such conflict. I’m so happy for their family being given a great opportunity and new start with a wonderful employer. The Nashville area is so beautiful and seems like a great place to raise a family. At the same time, my heart hurts knowing how much I’m going to miss them, especially this delightful, smart, and active two year old. I currently get to see her on an almost-daily basis, so I’ve been thinking of ways that I can make sure she knows that Nana will always be there for her. Here are some of my ideas for us to love on our grandchildren from afar.
This may seem obvious, but Use FaceTime, Snapchat, Duo, or Zoom to make sure you get to see their smiling face and vice versa. We are all so lucky to live in a time where we have instant video communication with our loved ones and it doesn’t cost anything extra.
Send "Grandma care packages." Even though we have all of the modern technology, our grandchildren still get excited to receive something in the mail. Mail them a card, letter, a book, some cookies or anything that reminds them of you. Recordable books like these are also a great idea. I got the one titled “Nana Will Love You Forever.” How perfect is that?
Make them an annual photo book or journal. My granddaughter absolutely loves looking at pictures of all of her extended family. (You can use your family vacation photos, see #4). Gigi Susie wrote a blog with a great resource for for personalized baby board books, but you can also make photo books for older grandchildren at Walgreens or online at Shutterfly or Costco Photo. You can also make a Grandmother's journal for them.
Plan annual or semi-annual family vacations. We have recently been doing this even when they lived nearby, but this will now become more important than ever. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law is a planner, so we already have our family vacation planned for July at the beach, but a vacation can be anywhere, like your home or theirs.
Be intentional. I’m not much of a planner, but I now realize that I need to become one, so that I can be intentionally present for my grandchild. I’m used to seeing her 3-4 times a week, so I need to make sure I schedule my visits with her on the calendar, whether it’s a FaceTime visit or an in-person visit. I want to make sure she continues to hear me and see me on a regular schedule.
Life will always throw us curve balls, but we get to choose how to react. I know how much I will miss my only grandchild, but I also know that I am blessed beyond measure in so many ways. I’m so grateful to have been such a big part of her life during her first two years. I’m thankful that my son and his wife are such good parents and will make sure that she knows Jesus. I know that they love me and want their children to know me. I know that change makes us grow and the love we have already established will continue to thrive no matter how far apart we are. I know that love has no boundaries and has the ability to cross state lines, so even though we’ll miss each other, we’ll all continue our treasured love connection. I hope you and yours will always have that connection too.
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