Long Distance Grandma

by Mum Dee on June 9, 2010

I have two beautiful grandchildren, aged 8 and 6, that unfortunately have always lived very far away and get farther away all the time. I live in Quebec Canada not too far from Montreal. They were born in Ontario Canada, moved to Minnesota USA and they now live on the other side of the world in Malaysia. Where to next??? Maybe Mars or something. It can be hard to figure out how to build a relationship with children when you don’t get to see them face to face very often.

I recently discovered a way to connect with my grandaughter Naomi. I am so happy to finally have a way to connect with her more. Now that she is 8 it is so much easier to have conversation with her. She likes to talk on Skype. After all she IS a girl. Now she has the concentration to be able to sit and chat. She was telling me recently about an author that she likes. He writes a series of books about a mouse named Geronimo who is the editor of “The Rodent’s Gazette” and has lots of crazy adventures. The author uses all kinds of dynamic fonts and lots of illustrations to bring the pages to life. She was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next book that she had ordered “The Karate Mouse”. Whoa, a sudden brainstorm hit me. What with video calling on Skype and if I had the same anti anxiety book in my hand we could actually read together just as if we were sitting together on the couch! How beautifully simple!

When I suggested this idea she loved it! I got right on it and ordered the book and once it arrived we had our first experience at video reading. I loved it! My daughter told me that she had been talking about nothing else but what we were planning to do together. It is a little difficult finding the perfect time to read together since our hours are the flip side of each other since my days are her nights but we will hopefully find the right time to connect regularly.

I am planning to suggest the next book to share. Maybe we should read “Superfudge” since she has a younger brother.I hope that this will turn into a long term event!

Now if I could only find something that will work with my 6 year old grandson Joseph. He mostly likes to show me everything he owns and how they work as he dashes in and out of camera range. I need to find something that can grab his attention on the screen. I wonder if they have internet games you can play together that are for young children? I will have to look into that. Hmmm maybe this will prove to be another Whoa! moment.

How do people in your family keep in touch with children that live far away?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmen June 9, 2010

This brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story, idea and forever memory.

Bonnie June 9, 2010

Oh, you are such a thoughtful grandma! I am sure they feel a lot of love from you!

bee leng June 9, 2010

Hi, creative grandma, i will share your idea with other grandmas in my church. thanks for sharing your experience :-)
Bee, Malaysia.

Mum Dee June 10, 2010

Thanks for all the great encouragement everyone!

Ailin June 12, 2010

hi mumD,

it’s so nice to read from a grandmomma’s point of view. i’ve been there (the flip side) where my mom would call and try to connect with my son when we were overseas… skype is such a God-given blessing. i hope you will be able to “scratch the itch” with Joseph soon!

Mum Dee June 12, 2010

@ Ailin: Nice that you can appreciate the difficulty. How old was your son when you were overseas? Was there anything special that worked between him and your Mom?

JUNKO June 25, 2010

Hi, Mom Dee, How are you?
The summer break of your grandchirdlen is coming soon.
Actually it’s mean the time I’ll have to say “BYE” to Mariah and Joseph and Naomi… they’ll be my “long distance friends” because we’ll move to Japan during this break.
I think I can keep in touch with them with Skype and Facebook.
We can do chatting with words and video calling with these sites.
Luckly we have “real time communication tool” now and we can feel our presious people are near by ourselves.
But sometimes “hand writing letter” is also nice, I think.
A hand-writing-letter is heartfull and more personal, And “non real time” is fun.
I like my mom’s hand-writing-letter a lot. I keep her letters and read it again sometimes.
I hope I’ll be able to keep in touch forever with my best friends!
Anyway, Enjoy your summer with your lovely families!!

P.S. My daughter is a classmate with Joseph. She also can’t enjoy chatting enough with my mom, too. She also bring and show her own items to my mom sometimes. Their age kids are still don’t know how to talk with others via internet (likes virtual world) , I think. They can’t explain their feeling and memories well, and can’t understand they can connect to others with computer. My daughter sometimes show her favorite items to even “telephon Reciever”!!

Mum Dee June 25, 2010

@Junko: I think it is funny how children will show things through the telephone. One of my daughters would always wave goodbye with her hand when she said goodbye to anyone on the telephone. She would forget that they couldn’t see her doing that.

I hope your move to Japan goes well. It is nice now how people can stay in touch with internet. I hope that you will be able to stay in touch with Mariah and the children.

I agree with you that hand written letters are special. I am eager to see my family this summer when they come to visit. It will be nice to actually see them in person and be able to touch them for real again.

littlepatti June 27, 2010

What a wonderful blog! You have so much to share.
My grand daughter lives 1/4 mile away. I can see her or talk to her every day. I hope we can stay connected…she’ll be 13 this year and life is getting busier and dizzier. It’s off to High School. Can it really be?
When we were awaiting her arrival, everyone told me that I would really enjoy a grandchild- Of course I knew I would love her, but I had no idea how much!! When I looked at her the day she was born, tears flooded my face and I felt that same deep-down inside love that I felt only for my own children. Nobody told me that!!!
and PS: she had on a little pink hat. I didn’t know that they come with hats these days.:-)

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