Long Distance Grandparenting

When I was younger, I always imagined my parents would be close by and that they’d be grandparents in the most active way. I never imagined I’d lose my father to kidney failure before I made him a grandfather, and I never imagined I’d be living four thousand miles away from my mother when I made her a grandmother. But to love and live and let live is how I’ve always lived my life, both, when I was younger and now.

Now that I’m older, I Skype with my mother with Noah always in the picture. Through our Macs, my mother talks to Noah and she sings to him Korean nursery songs about bunnies hopping in the woods and polka dot mommy and baby cows and other painfully cute vignettes. And as Davy and I readied all this week and yesterday morning, before picking my mother up at the airport, I began to all of a sudden worry. I worried that Noah would not warm to her, hisย halmuhnee,ย right away. I wondered if my mother would feel any kind of hurt if Noah was unfamiliar and bashful. A thousand and nineteen dramatic what-ifs ran through my head. I analyze everything, as a lifestyle choice.

I even declined a babysitting offer from Noah’s grandparents here, because although it’s always “easier” to make a run to the airport without a baby in tow, I wanted Noah physically with me and Davy for the whole of yesterday. I wantedย Noah there at the airport as his halmuhnee arrived, and there the whole way bringing her home. I wanted them to share the backseat on the drive from the airport while Davy and I listened to them babble, from up front. I wanted them to have that time alone before loving visitors would descend upon us. And as we waited at the arrivals gate, I felt a rush of very nervous energy. My mother rolled her suitcases out through the doors and rushed towards us, as Noah sat in my arms.

ThursdayNoah was bashful at first but as soon as my mother started singing one of their special Skype songs, he unburied his head from my shoulder and dazzled her with his smile. I was so relieved and Davy was laughing the whole time while filming us, and holy shit I had worried for nothing. Noah knew his halmuhnee and overnight, they’d reconnected in such a beautiful way I know everything will always be okay. They bumped their foreheads together in a silly game only they know the rules to as I made breakfast this morning.

Friday

Noah is lucky to have loving grandparents everywhere, here in Ghent and in New York, and sometimes all at once at the same time in the same place like these next three weeks. I wonder where Noah will be if and when he makes me a grandmother. I wonder if I can be as patient and loving and gracious as my mother is should I ever find myself the long distance grandparent in the distant future.

Always dishing,

Jun

22 Comments

  1. Renee

    My mother lives about 1,000 miles away. I constantly had the same worries you had, we always did FaceTime or Skype, but you just never know! My son, now almost 3, knows his “granny”- even if he hasn’t spent as much physical time with her as my in-laws. He gets excited for their Skype-dates and on the rare times they spend time together in person- they’re inseparable. You’ll see this, too, as Noah gets older- it took me a few years to realize that their love truly transcends distance, and it’s a special feeling they both have for each other. A feeling that mommies and daddies are just not privy to.

    Love all the pics!!! Those are definitely “framers”

    Reply
  2. OkieChris

    You made me cry Jun. It started when I saw the first pictures and streamed harder down my cheeks as I read more. Thank God for technology! Noah is a very lucky little man! Love you all ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  3. Cris A.

    No matter what happens the rest of your life, you will always be able to look back on this time of your life and know just how blessed you have been. Beautiful blog. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  4. Awww geez. I’m crying. Your words are eloquent Jun. Incredibly happy that Noah and his halmuhnee are physically together. He will remember her scent and her voice. They will always have a very special bond.

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  5. Anonymous

    I truly understand the “Skype” advantage from a Grammys standpoint…I helped raise my 3 grandsons for 15 years and recently had to move 4 hrs away. Skype helps keep them close to me and they can share their lives with me as they did daily. Seeing them in person is even sweeter so I know what Momz is feeling. Hopefully this will be a tradition you all can share each year for many years to come.

    Reply
  6. kcsmum

    I had chills all the while why reading this – until the head bumping. Then I busted out in tears! I had silently worried the same thing – knowing that babies go through phases and often 12-18 months is the “stranger” phase. I’m so happy that Momz had the little song to reconnect her to her precious boy. Before I go I have to say – OMG – the 2nd “arrival” picture of Momz & Noah is Davy’s mini-me!! xoxo

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  7. As a child, I was VERY shy around new people. Even if I knew of them, when I saw them in person, I’d shy away. I had seen pictures of my aunt many times and when asked who is that?, i’d say Aunt Ruby. But when I met her the first couple of times was very put off. Same for Santa. VERY put off. I watched Romper Room every day on TV . Our local hostess, Miss Linda, would say the franchise ” Romper Stomper Bomper Boo, tell me, tell me, tell me do. Magic mirror tell me today, did my friends at home have fun at play?” Then she’d go through several names saying I see Karen and Mark and… And having a common name, every once in a while she’d call out I see Richard. I knew her, and felt she knew me. Old school Skype. I met her when I was @ 3 and was not shy at all. Ran straight to her yelling, ” Miss Linda!” There was a connection between us through my TV screen so I was not shy. Through the modern miracle of Skype, Momz and Noah have a connection. Such a blessing is modern tech. I’ve babbled too long, but felt the need to point this out to you. Thank you for always sharing and Dishing.

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  8. One more thing… My sister put cams up in her house and gave very close family the links to view them. My two older sisters in STL have been able to watch our niece grow up. Kitchen and playroom view. I live close but i check it daily at work. Works wonders… She knows they are there so she talks to us through them.

    Reply

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