I often wonder where the world will be in twelve months. Who will we celebrate Christmas with in 2021?
What we can be sure of, is 2021 will deliver us permanent changes in we go about our lives. How that will affect Distance Families in the future is still unknown. Much wait and see is required. With our previous Christmas and summer plans turned upside down and seeing none of our distance family could visit New Zealand my husband and I 'turned Christmas on its head' and travelled way from home.
Thoughts from the luggage carousel
I was fortunate to enjoy a walking adventure in one of our national parks prior to Christmas. For those of you sitting in Covid hotspots, especially in the cold Northern Hemisphere, please know that those of us able to enjoy these sorts of freedoms take NOTHING for granted.
When I flew back to Auckland I had what I call an 'emotions slipping off a shelf' moment. I normally keep my Distance Family emotions tidily 'on a shelf'. There is nothing I can do about them and acceptance is the key. But as I stood at the luggage carousel a local grandfather was embracing two little grandsons who had been on the same flight as me. As I took in the moment I realized that today my U.S. daughter and two grandsons should have flown into Auckland for Christmas and I would have been doing a trip like this grandfather to the airport to meet the family.
No doubt many of you have similar coming or going stories, maybe with feelings of emotions 'slipping off a shelf'.
Next stop was a holiday house. Our local daughter & family 'blessed' us with a 1000 piece jigsaw for Christmas. Fortunately, my sister-in-law who was staying with us is a jigsaw fan. As I was poking away at the puzzle I was also reading my book draft again and couldn't help but smile when I read...
... "Distance Grandparenting is like a challenging jigsaw. The picture on the box looks daunting and you would rather put the puzzle back in the cupboard. Once the ‘edge’ is done the remaining pieces don’t look like they will ever make a finished picture but with time and perseverance, each piece finds its place in the same way a routine of 'doing' Distance Grandparenting begins to emerge for you. But please, PLEASE don’t knock the table"...
Excerpt from 'Being a Distance Grandparent - a Book for ALL Generations'.
The Three H's
Some Distance Grandparents graciously and reluctantly accept their role... some don't.
Acceptance occurs in one’s heart because it is the right thing to do.
When acceptance hasn’t found a home, often its progress can be monitored by language. It is not so much what Distance Grandparents say to themselves (or their friends), it's what they verbalise to their Distance Family.
This language is ‘The 3 H’s’: the Language of Progressive Acceptance of Distance Grandparenting.
The Shift from Helicopter Parents to Helicopter Caregivers
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