One of the greatest joys of my childhood was having both sets of grandparents present in my life.
My maternal grandparents lived 2-1/2 hours away. My paternal grandparents lived 30 minutes away. I now realize how spoiled I was. I could call either set for them to pick me up for sleep overs or play days. Both grandmothers would come. Regardless of differences of opinions, the adults chose to prioritize familial relationships so that I and my siblings would know our grandparents.
I remember Olsen twin movie nights with nail polish at my BarBar’s. My Mammaw is still the life of the party, known for staying awake for games and ready to dance away the night. My Pappaw has the quickest, sharpest wit. If you don’t pay attention you’re going to miss it. My Pappoo was famous for his 4th of July cook-outs and firework displays; not to mention his beehives and honey. These family members were such an integral part of my childhood. The close relationships I remember on both sides of the family are what I hope my children will also experience.
We live roughly 5 hours either way from my parents and from my in-laws. It’s hard some days. I always imagined my children would have grandparents right there like I did. But they don’t. So I have to make conscious efforts to include both sets and involve them. This way it’s not just the holidays that my children see them.
We facetime at least once a week with each set. Yes, each set. I choose to involve both sets of grandparents as much as I can. It also helps Brady and Hudson to see them. That way they can hear their voices and see their faces besides just on those holidays. We also have group texts going. When the boys do something cute, hilarious or down right heathen I send it to them. That way everyone can feel present in our day to day lives.
Family picture board books are a tangible way for my children to associate names with faces. There are so many clever products on the market these days to help little ones learn long distance family members. I made a book like this as a one year birthday gift. They just turned two and still love it! (I’m cheap and waited till they had a promo code). For older kids, a puzzle or “guess who” version would be awesome.
I have been blessed with family members that want to be present in my children’s lives.
We’re not letting distance hinder that relationship. We’re building on the lessons my parents taught me of inclusion and celebrating that we have both sets of grandparents eager to spoil Brady and Hudson.