To say the last month has been hectic is an understatement. Lots of big deal happenings. It started with my husband having an overdue knee replacement - so he has been home 24/7 needing a dash of care here and there. My MA graduation finally happened and all the while I was cooking, shopping, cleaning and testing scary technology to host a Live Screen Wedding Breakfast in our home for 40+ guests. Our son in Chicago was married two days ago. In between that my new book Being a Distance Grandparent - a Book for ALL Generations was making its entre into the world.
I am hoping the rest of June will be a tad quieter. Come July a book media campaign will kick off in New Zealand and that will be fun.
To those of you with Dads in the U.K., U.S.A., Canada or South Africa - just a reminder it is Fathers Day there on Sunday 20th June. There is still time to order a paperback or e-book version for Dad. A Distance Mother/Grandmother told me at the wedding, "As soon as I started reading your book I couldn't put it down. I related to so much. Yes, some was hard and some was heartwarming and that's okay. I loved it!"
Finally I have branched out into Instagram. If that is your cup of tea you'll find me here @helenellis.author
Until next month
Take care and happy Distance Familying
Book excerpt: "Fruit cake is a working partner in my Distance Grandparenting role"
“I gingerly attempted to pass on a love of this treat to my American grandsons who live in a country that has little appreciation of this delicious English pleasure. It is no exaggeration to say these young lads have become obsessed with fruitcake so it is transported in suitcases to America. It has even achieved the lofty status of Santa’s favourite indulgence. A slice is left under the tree on Christmas Eve along with the English tradition of a glass of port.
This senses-filled (sight, taste, and smell) fruitcake experience for my grandsons has evolved into an embedded family tradition and builds bonds and connections while simultaneously trying to offset the unsettling nature of Distance Grandparenting. Fruitcake is a working partner in my Distance Grandparenting role.”
I did the bulk of my Masters in 2019 and submitted my thesis, "How is distance grandparenting for you?" A study of long haul, New Zealand distance grandparents and inter-generational transnational familying in April 2020. Finally, in May 2021 I collected the certificate. Patience is a virtue.
Robyn Vogels is an expert at relocation. She is based in Melbourne and owns Personnel Relocations.
Her business is helping emigrants to leave well and arrive well. We talk a little about what to do before families leave. This is a hectic time with much on everyone's To-Do list. A little time and attention spent with the soon-to-be left-behind parents and grandparents helping them adjust, can be so fruitful.
Click below to watch the webinar.
What did I learn being the Mother of the Groom at a Live Screen Zoom wedding?
Two days ago our son got married in Chicago to a lovely U.S. lass. We hosted 40+ for Sunday breakfast at our place and Zoom was a guest of honour.
Our house was alive and pumping, stretched at the seams with family, our son’s friends and our friends - babies, children, raincoats, umbrellas and a kids’ toy corner.
Our three x TV's and separate speeches links all worked (we practiced a lot), despite the fact that I vacuumed up a very important connection the day before.
The breakfast buffet meal in the garage was a great success.
My local friend who ‘did’ for me in the kitchen was a trooper.
We had a lovely NZ cake cutting ceremony just for our guests that we’ll treasure. I read the story from my book (above) about fruitcake.
We were grateful in NZ we could gather as we did. Separately, many tuned in on Zoom around the world.
Most importantly everyone realized that if it were ‘normal times’ hardly anyone present would have been in Chicago and the wedding, for most, would have been no more than a few photos that landed in their Facebook feed.
We don’t have the experiences of a trip to Chicago and ‘being there’, but we do have many people to share our memories with – and that’s not all bad.
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