The baby is 1 — and we’re 2,001 miles away. Darn pandemic.

We were there the day Sebastian was born, one year ago this month.

A week before his due date, we were on our scheduled flight, making our way from Ohio to Washington state. But we found out our daughter-in-love was in labor! I really wanted to tell the pilot to “step on it.”

Sebastian waited until we got there to be born. (Actually he waited five hours after our arrival even though Mommy told him he could come out NOW, please!)

We stayed with this family of now six for the first six weeks of Sebastian’s life, helping however we could. Our time with his three older siblings was wonderful!

Often Grandpa and I would be busy busy busy but then a magical moment would come. “Mom, do you want some baby time?” I look up and in the doorway is my son holding his new son. Yes, indeed, hand him over!

Gram holding baby

We were lucky enough to take more trips to Washington as the months went by. The last of those trips was an unexpected scheduling. In February, I said to my husband, “Let’s go see the kids next month.” We hadn’t planned on going so soon — after all, we had just been there in January. But I just wanted to be there. Can’t explain it.

Little did I know that March visit would be the last one for a long time as the pandemic rocked our world. We’re still waiting to see them again.

Oh, I absolutely know we were incredibly lucky to be with Sebastian for 101 days of his life in his first year. But those 101 days were in August-March. We have not held him, kissed him, changed a diaper, or rocked him to sleep since March … and we were not there for his first birthday.

I am enormously grateful that our peach of a daughter-in-love makes sure we FaceTime with Sebastian almost every day. His face lights up when he sees us, and sometimes rocks back and forth to indicate he wants to hear one of our songs for him. We love seeing his smile and we nod knowingly whenever he tries to deliver some important news in baby talk. With FaceTime, we have seen Sebastian progress from being a “scooter” to a crawler and he is walking holding on, soon to venture out.

So being there on “THE day” isn’t the most important thing.

But darn pandemic. (If I had a dollar for every time I said that phrase, I’d be a rich woman.)

Have you been there on the day a grandchild was born? Tell us more, in the Comments section below.

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6 thoughts on “The baby is 1 — and we’re 2,001 miles away. Darn pandemic.”

  1. We had 13 grandchildren under the age of 11 and they are all far out of town so going to every birthday is impossible. We go to some here or there but it’s hard to make even most of them. Im glad everyone is understanding about it.

  2. We are 11 hours drive and an international border away from our grandkids. Even a negative COVID test won’t allow us to go without self-quarantining, which is more than my husband’s vacation. We are hoping that a COVID test will be acceptable before our grandson’s 1st birthday in November. I feel your pain!

    • Oh, Joann, your situation is worse than most and I’m so sorry. This first year of growth is so important — and such a joy to experience.

      I’m so sorry for all of us, to have a pandemic on top of being miles away! That is “piling on.”

      Praying for a vaccination that will make all of this go away.


  3. My granddaughter turned one yesterday!Fortunately they visited us in the summer and as we have no Covid in our city it was doable and we celebrated early.We too would have loved to be there yesterday but their city is more of a hot spot so we stayed home.We must treasure all of your times together.We have five grandchildren and feel very blessed that we were all together this summer at our cottage.


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