Hugs are important to all grandparents, of course. But to us grandparents who live miles away from those little arms, this physical contact is even more precious.
We arrived in Washington state and our pot of gold at the end of the 2,000+ mile driving journey was locking arms with our grandchildren, our daughter-in-law, and our son. The joy of that reunion!
Charlotte asked her sister to pinch her. “I’m afraid I’m dreaming!” Charlotte said, hopping around.
We hugged one, then another, then two together, then that one again, then those two again. I can truly say they were as happy to be with us as we were to be with them.
Wanting to grab Sebastian — but resisting.
The oldest three are ages 8, 6, and 4 and there is no hesitation when they see us.
But Sebastian, who just turned one in August, studied us from afar. We spoke to him but made no advances. During our jubilant arrival, Sebastian had no smiles — but no fear either. He just observed us.
Getting used to us had to be on his terms, we had already resolved (yes, as much as we wanted to charge him and kiss and snuggle for five minutes straight). That resolve is what we’ve done with all the grandchildren especially as babies or toddlers.
And now that practice is especially important for this baby! For roughly the second half of his life, Sebastian has been with very few people outside his own family in his own home and yard. While babies usually grow up seeing family friends, extended family, clerks, servers, librarians, people in church, etc., our Sebastian doesn’t know much about the “outside world.”
Thanks to our daughter-in-law, he has been seeing us on FaceTime about every day. (We often refer to ourselves as “the flat people”.) But what in the world will he think when he sees us three-dimensional, we asked ourselves a hundred times on our trip. For Sebastian, who only knows us on a screen for the last six months, it’s as if Bert and Ernie came walking into his home.
On arrival day, we just kept engaging with the rest of his family and talking to Sebastian from a good distance apart. Soon my husband was on the floor, zooming some toy cars around, and Sebastian had to come over to see what the fun was. One thing led to another and car play soon turned into climbing on Grandpa’s back.
Things progressed so quickly and he got used to us in just a couple of hours. By the next day, Sebastian was holding out his hands for me to hold him.
Arms of love, arms of love, big and small. How lucky I am.
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16 thoughts on “Pure bliss. Reuniting with grandkids after months of quarantining.”
We are definitely considering this, to get some bliss ourselves! We have 5-year old Hannah and 3-year old Gabe. They are 1,748 miles from our arms.
Good luck with your decision, Sally.
I love the names of your grandkids!
I am so happy for you! Smart to let Sebastian warm up on his own time. We didn’t think about that ahead of time, and we initially scared Louise, born in April and never held by any adults besides her parents. We backed off and waited and were soon rewarded as you have been. It’s a pleasure hearing about your trip.
Sebastian and Louise have something in common (besides being exceptionally cute)! It is amazing to see how little ones will go from stand-off-ish to cuddle bunnies if we just let them do it on their time.
Awwwwwwww your entire trip and THIS reunion so warmed my heart, Jane. You and your husband are the very best. You’re grandchildren are so fortunate to have such loving and amazing grandparents!! ❤️
How sweet of you to shower such kind words on me, Laurie. You made my day! Thank you.
Such a heartwarming story Jane. You’ve obviously done very well connecting in spite of the long distance as evidenced by your grandchildren’s delight in seeing you. Glad you were able to get there. Enjoy every precious moment!
Thanks for letting me know your thoughts, Carol.
I admit that we have worked very hard on establishing strong relationships with our little ones. Much of the credit goes to our daughter-in-love and son who have welcomed our every connection.
Keep in touch!
Sounds wonderful, Jane! So happy for you!
I’m curious how you handled keeping everyone safe and healthy during your stay. Are your grandchildren attending school? Did you all get tested before you left? We’re considering doing the same thing, but our’s are in school.
Hi, Also Jane!
Our grandkids are homeschooled which factored heavily in our decision.
We did not get tested before we left. Our trip was seven days so it would not have mattered by arrival, we figured. We originally planned on quarantining ourselves from the grands and their parents upon arrival. But when we saw how we were able to stay away from everyone as we traveled (hooray!), we 4 adults decided quarantining was not necessary.
Basically the 6 of them and the 2 of us have formed a “double bubble” and we have contact with no one else but each other.
Tough decisions, right? Who would have ever thought such decisions would be part of our grandparenting!
Seeing the photograph of your reunion hug with your granddaughter (it must be Fiona) brings me tears of joy for you and your husband. Any difficulties from you long journey must have evaporated in a heartbeat. Enjoy every minute of your precious time with them💕
You are spot on, Wendy — on all counts. It is Fiona in the photo — her hugs are intense! And yes, any long or boring aspects of the journey lifted right away.
Thank you for sharing in our joy. You have a big heart and I love that you wrote me.
Kerry, from Australia, had made a Comment about trading houses with someone in Denmark. I asked her if she used an agency or web site. She was nice enough to reply! Her answer is below. – Jane
Ideas re separate accommodation. We have organised this by asking for a swap in local expats internet link (Viking News for Denmark), the same at our apartment block when seeking an apartment near ours for visiting family, once air bnb while we moved out to give space to visitors – then there is the option of hiring a caravan on arrival if air travel is involved. Definitely the way to go for us.
In Melbourne Australia we are just emerging from 100 days of lockdown, no movement still beyond 25 kms but but NO cases for 2 days, after high of 700 daily Much missed grandees are beyond 25 kms so we are very flat people!
Thanks for your blog – very helpful
Thanks for the info, Kerry, and for your kind words about the blog.
A lockdown must be so hard — but it looks like Australia knows how to concur this virus. No cases for 2 days. Hooray!
Wishing for a vaccine for all of us. And grandparents who are miles away should be among the first in line! 🙂
Please, this all so excites me! I want to read stories and send the video clips to my grandchildren who still cannot see me due to Corona Virus Restrictions. How do I send the clip? It is 7 Mn long and says it is to large a file to save? I’m reading some great tips on taping the stories but how to send them when done/ ?? Thanks!!!
(I am a Frontline Emergency Room Consultant and work with COVID each shift so considered high risk carrier.)
Hi, Faith! Good to hear from you. Thanks for all you do as a ER consultant. What a year you have had!
Here’s a suggestion about your video: Have you heard of Dropbox? It’s a free service which allows you to share photos and videos online. It can be accessed at http://www.dropbox.com. I have used it off and on for years and am pleased. You sign up for a free account on Dropbox. Then you upload your video clip onto Dropbox and ask for a sharing link. The link can be emailed to your grandkids’ parents, who would download your video and play it anytime they want.
Also, check out http://www.Readeo.com. It’s a great way to read books to your grandkids — but it’s in “live time” not taping anything. You pay for Readeo services but it’s an excellent site. My grandkids love the changing variety of books on Readeo.
Happy New Year to you and your grands!