Every time I open the medicine cabinet I see the items in the photo and while I don’t literally cry, I am sad. You see that little Sesame street toothbrush and paste. They belong to my grandson who recently moved across country.
It was a good move for the family. Alex’s mom got a great job and the cost of living is much more reasonable there. Instead of getting sad every time I see his things, I decided to think about ways to still be connected 2,000 miles apart and came up with some ideas.
Visit as Often as Possible
This isn’t the most practical idea but it is coming from my heart. I miss the sweet hugs and kisses that can only come from a child. I plan to use those mileage awards as soon as I build them up to keep in touch.
Alex will come spend longer visits with us as soon as he’s old enough; I think it would be hard at two but maybe in a couple of years.
Read Books via Video
Alex loves “reading” books. I plan to make a video of myself reading the book and then ship both the book and DVD to him. He can listen and see me read the book over and over again.
You don’t need to be a long distance grandparent to use this idea.
Make sure grandkids have a picture of you they can hold when speaking on the phone or just to keep you in their memories. I think we’ll send Alex a photo of us in a kid-friendly frame.
For older kids, I read a suggestion to send disposable cameras for them to use and send back for development. It’s a way for long-distance loved ones to get a peak into their lives and a conversation starter with the child.
Our grandson walks away from phone conversations; it just doesn’t hold his attention….yet. But he is a video chat user. He’s been using Skype to chat with my son for a few months.
We haven’t had one yet since they just got their household goods delivered a few days ago but I plan to get a call scheduled soon. Getting a kiss onscreen is almost as good as the real thing.
Kids love to get mail. I carried on a long-distance pen pal relationship with my grandmother for 30 years until she passed away.
Once Alex is a little older, I’ll start writing him letters. In the meantime, I’ll make a point of sending cards for each and every special occasion and for those just because days.
It’s easy for Alex’s mom to post photos on Facebook and update all the family on moments in their lives. Whether it’s a snapshot of sleeping in the car seat or exploring a new park, it helps me feel a part of his life.
I can’t wait to see the photo of his Halloween costume!
As Alex grows and technology advances, I’m sure there will be additional ways to keep connected. Distance doesn’t mean grandparenting stops. We just have to change our methods. I also need to move that toothpaste and brush!
What’s your tip on staying connected with a loved one long distance?