Monday 22 October 2018

Poetry Monday: The Grandma/Grandpa Club

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is The Grandma (or Grandpa) Club.

Diane, Delores and I are all Grandmas, but if you're a Grandpa -- or if you're neither -- you can still join us in crafting a poem. Leave your offerings in the comments of any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please leave a comment telling us how to find you. The point of this challenge is to exercise our brains and have fun.


I've been a grandma for a bit less than four years. We have two grandsons, who live within driving distance, but only just close enough for a day trip. With two cats requiring a lot of care at home, our trips are all day trips.

Something is about to change, though. In a big way -- and not in a good way.

In less than one month, our daughter and her husband, with our two little grandsons in tow, are moving very, very far away; on the opposite side of our continent and out of our country. They are moving so our son-in-law can take a new job. The current plan is to work "away" for five years and then move back to Nova Scotia.

As you might imagine, I am pretty sad about the moving away part. I am sad for our daughter, who would rather live in NS (although she has come a long way in accepting and even starting to be excited about some aspects of the move). I am sad for me, and for my husband, and for our moms, who are both elderly. A lot can happen in five years. And a return to our province is not guaranteed.


It can't be changed, so it must be endured.

And, in some ways, even embraced.

I am happy for them that they have this opportunity -- to earn, to travel, to have new experiences and to meet new people.

I am also very grateful for the internet -- email and videoconferencing, especially. We aren't the first grandparents who will keep in touch in those ways, and we won't be the last. Many, many young families from our province have moved west (mostly to Alberta) for work, and if you're out of easy driving range, it doesn't matter if your loved ones are in Alberta or on the west coast of the USA, as ours will be. Face to face visits will be few and far between, and if we want our grandchildren to recognize us when we see them in person, Skype (video) is a great help.

(And I am a terrible traveller, so Skype is good in another way -- no worries about food issues, bathroom issues, sleep issues, motion sickness, or finding a cat-sitter!)

Anyway, all of that is the background for my poem today. It's another short and simple haiku, because I keep getting emotional and can't see the screen for the tears.


Two Little Boys

Such tiny humans
To have so captivated
Your families' hearts

The Donkey's grandsons. In real life they are not donkeys, of course. But the Awww factor is the same.


Before I go mop up my face, may I just wish you a good week, my friends -- one where, if necessary, you endure and even embrace change, as hard as that may be.

Update:  Next week's topic is (unsurprisingly!) . . . HALLOWEEN-N-N-N-N . . . Mwahahahaha  😈


Elephant's Child said...

Heartfelt hugs.
And I do love your positive take. My parents always said 'what can't be cured, must be endured' which is such a grim way to look at it.

dinthebeast said...

Where on the West coast? I've been a West coaster my whole life.
Moving away from your home town can be an adventure, or at least it was for us. We never moved back because we didn't want to, but there were times when it seemed likely, and really, we may end up going most of the way back before were done, as staying here gets less affordable each year and Briana has some property in her family in Miranda.
It's sometimes hard to be enthusiastic about the plans of those you care about that take them away from you, but I remember my parents telling us as they helped us move away how they had moved to California from Oklahoma just before I was born (whew!) and knew just what it was like to strike out on your own without much more than your hopes and dreams.
I hope it all works out for you, and for your daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons, and may the deviations from the plan all be fortunate for you all.

-Doug in Oakland

River said...

I can see that Skype will soon become your best friend as you keep in touch with the tiny ones and their parents.
I hope the move goes well and everyone settles in without hassle.

Steve Reed said...

I was going to say, "But look at it as a great opportunity for traveling!" But then I saw you're not an enthusiastic traveler, so that's too bad. I know it's a big adjustment, but if it's any consolation (from one who lives across an ocean from the rest of his family) videoconferencing and Skype are pretty amazing!

only slightly confused said...

That is so hard for you. Keep positive. At least it's not like the old days when families moved by wagon train across the country and were never seen again.My grandies are in foster care now and I seldom see them....The 'Grandma Club' topic was a tad painful for me too. Life is just a constantly changing seems to get harder to deal with as we get older.

crafty cat corner said...

Life is always throwing us difficult situations to deal with isn't it. We've had our fair share and only last night sat discussing some of the things we've got through together. I'm sure you'll be okay once they've gone and probably talk just as much online as you do now.

Red said...

Well, I share your pain. My daughter left in 2008 for Chicago. I had the same sentiments. I also did some sniffling as she drove away with my favorite dog. She has become an american citizen and will not likely come back except for visits.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

My daughter moved to California (we live on East Coast) 20 years ago. It broke my heart, but we raised our children to fly and find their own paths and adventures. I will tell you it took some time to get used to, but then I saw how happy they were and that is where they were meant to be. They come home once or twice a year for a week or two and it is always wonderful. Not being a day to day part of my granddaughters life troubles me, but our reunions are priceless. I am not a happy traveler either and also have "the cats" situation but the past few years, my Retired Man and I have taken turns on visiting the west coast. I have found this a perfect solution.

Take care dear Jenny. It will be OK and I will bet that you will hear more from your daughter when she moves. I seem to have more contact with my daughter who is a far away than my son who lives half an hour away.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Oh, my goodness. Now I'm crying, too . . .

Susan Kane said...

This is so tender. My youngest daughter is in Switzerland with our 2 grandsons and thankfully we see them on Face time. At least we have that. When we lived in Ireland in 1985, letters and infrequent phone calls.

She will be fine, but she will miss you terribly. Holidays are the worst.

jenny_o said...

Grim, but realistic, too. It took a long time for me to find the positive . . . Hugs gratefully accepted, and returned.

jenny_o said...

I don't want to get too specific as to location, but they will be in Washington State. I'm most concerned about my mother and my mother-in-law. They are both in their very late 80's and five years could make a lot of difference to them. Thanks for all your good wishes, Doug. It helps to hear of others who have moved a great distance and done okay.

jenny_o said...

I hope for that, too, River. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

jenny_o said...

I'm hoping Skype will work out well. I need to figure out how to use it first, but the motivation is strong!

jenny_o said...

You know, I was thinking along the same lines as your wagon train comment, except in terms of our ancestors coming over from the old country. The courage that must have taken! And the pain it must have caused.

I'm sorry about your grands. I was wondering.

jenny_o said...

We will find a new normal, as they say. I'm not a big fan of change, and I'm sure that colours my feelings quite a lot!

jenny_o said...

Your favourite dog, even! That would be painful too. Do you visit her?

kylie said...

I don't have grandchildren yet, I have some small sense of the wrench you face and all I can say is yes, embrace it! embrace the opportunities for everybody because thats really all you can do.
I'm sure it will work well.

The donkeys are gorgeous!

jenny_o said...

I mean your daughter!

jenny_o said...

As long as they are happy, that truly is the most important thing, isn't it? I'm glad you mentioned about taking separate trips; it's something I hadn't thought of. But, ugh, the travelling.

Thank you for your kind encouragement; it helps.

jenny_o said...

Ack, stop that! You'll get me started again!

jenny_o said...

Oh, that is very far away . . . it is good to hear of others' situations, though, and know that it can work. We will make it work :)

jenny_o said...

It will have to work! We will make it so :)

Aren't those critters sweet? Almost as sweet as your Harry!

baili said...

Oh dearest Jenny this is so touching and brought tears to my eyes (who are always ready to cry since my eldest son left for germany)

you are very strong and far wiser than me and i am sure will accept the change sooner than me and easily hopefully !

as you justified this migration and glorified reasons behind it my friend!

Sending you all my love and hugs with heartiest prays for you and your family!

Stay positive and strong as you meant to be :)

Joan (Devon) said...

Hello Jenny, we were in your position until we moved back to Devon over a year ago. The difference is that we were the ones to move away, not our daughter. During our time in Wales our daughter met her now partner and had two gorgeous daughters. We travelled down for both births which was quite emotional for me. (I blame the MS, lol.) We kept in touch with lots of visits on both sides being just a two hour journey and Skype/Facetime, so that Amber, the first born became used to us and not think of us as strangers. It worked for the time we were in Wales and the distance, although a nuisance wasn't a real problem.
My husband even went down there a couple of times to babysit during the day when our daughter was ill and needed our help, so our close relationship continued. I had to stay at home to look after our dog, Roper, otherwise I would have gone too.
Another difference between your situation and ours is that you already have a close relationship with your grandsons, living near to them, we had to put more effort into forming some kind of bond with Amber, but that was a joy and a pleasure. She is nearly eight now and we still have a close family relationship. Our second grand-daughter was born just two months before we moved back and we look after her two days a week, so our relationship with her is entirely different.
The situation isn't ideal, but with lots of contact particularly with your grandsons, you shouldn't have any problems.
I could say more, but I'm taking up too much space and I haven't written down my poem yet. It's one I wrote about Amber when she was four years old.

Amber's Energy.

Amber has so much energy,
It tires me out to see,
Her running, dancing, jumping,
With a smile on her face of glee.

Lots and lots of energy,
Is used by this bundle of fun.
She'll run around in circles
And won't stop until she's done.

I say to her very nicely,
"Can I have some energy, please?"
And she'll reply, "No, it's all mine",
Oh, she is a little tease.

We sit and watch her performance,
As she puts on a marvellous show.
Swirling and whirling around,
Going with the flow.

Using up her energy,
She'll fall in a heap on the floor,
Which means the show has ended,
But we call out for more.

She'll get up and give us an encore
And puts in as much as before.
Then when she's finally finished,
She'll walk out through the door.

You may find in time that although it's an inconvenience your relationship is still strong. Take care and see you next week.

Martha said...

Oh, sending you lots of hugs. I can just imagine how difficult this is for you, for all of you. They are a young family and sometimes these opportunities arise bringing hard decisions with them. Thank goodness for modern technology. Skype is such a wonderful thing and so is Facebook's Messenger. xo

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Take a Red Eye and a sleeping pill when traveling on a long flight. It is not as crowded, you get there first thing in the morning, and you never have to look out the window. I find it the best way to go.

jenny_o said...

Good tips! Thanks, Arleen.

I don't mind the actual travelling as much as the implications for food and washrooms, as I have GI issues. I've had some experiences at home that I would not want to repeat in the midst of a long trip!

jenny_o said...

I know you miss your son very much, baili, and I think you are doing very, very well at accepting it. The main thing is that our children are healthy and happy, yes? Hugs in return, dear friend. It's almost time for you to see your son again, isn't it? I imagine you are counting off the weeks!

jenny_o said...

Thank you for those words of experience, Joan. I think with Skype we will do okay. We actually haven't been able to visit them where they currently live as often as we'd like, due to our winter weather and the amount of driving involved. It seems sometimes that whenever we make plans it snows or something happens to the car or there is a work-related crisis! And they can't visit us because our son-in-law is extremely allergic to cats (we have two). I think one especially important point that you made is that we have to work at keeping the relationship strong, not just expect it to happen. Good words.

I love your poem - it sounds like your Amber and our older grandson are alike in their energy levels!

jenny_o said...

I hadn't thought about Facebook Messenger because I didn't realize it existed until last week . . . I wonder how long it would have been until I put two and two together if you hadn't mentioned that, Martha? lol I'm a big fan of modern technology even with all its pitfalls. It was a godsend when our daughter was very ill and couldn't go to school and have regular friendships with her school peers. She "met" kids from around the world and was able to have a network of friends in that way.

Thank you for your words of support. We will get through this. Perhaps the hardest will be the actual leave-taking.

John M said...

It's difficult. My daughter has a good job and benefits. My son-in-law has a great position. And the grand-kids have friends. I guess we'll just see them in person only a few days a year. Thank goodness for email and cell phone video calls.

Joan (Devon) said...

Of the two of us (my husband and I) I was the one who had to work at some kind of relationship with Amber as my husband could do all the normal things with a toddler like getting down on the floor and playing or a bit of rough and tumble on the floor, taking her for a walk, or when she was even younger carrying her around and pointing to things of interest. I couldn't do any of that, so she always looked forward more to my husband visiting than me and I felt a bit out of it. That is when I started writing to her using blank cards and stickers to illustrate a short story I'd written for her and also the time when I started composing poems for her. Things she had done or places she had been to, things that were relevant to her and I tried to make them funny too. That was the way forward for me and my daughter told her of my disability etc so that she would understand why I didn't/couldn't do the usual things with her. Now, we have a smashing relationship and she is always considerate of me and my disability. I couldn't ask for a better grand-daughter.

jenny_o said...

That was a wise approach, Joan, and you have just put the idea in my head to write to my grandsons, too. Brilliant! I'm glad you found a way to bond with your Amber. It's hard when you can't do the usual things, but I'm thinking writing stories and poems would be right up your alley.

jenny_o said...

You can say that again! And again! Remember when we only had phones, and it was so expensive for long-distance?

LL Cool Joe said...

Oh no that's going to be tough. Having just become a Grandparent myself I know how hard this will be for you. We have many changes going on our lives here too, as I'm still getting used to slowly becoming an empty nester and that's hard enough. I hate Skype etc. and think I'd prefer to travel although I'm finding that harder myself too.

jenny_o said...

Empty nesting is hard, too. I found it took years to adjust to that.

Is Skype bad? I've never actually used it!

Janie Junebug said...

I don't have grandchildren. My kids are too--lazy, stupid, selfish (take your pick or make up your own--to procreate.


Diane Henders said...

Aw, the donkeys are adorable. And I'm so sorry that you and your family have to live through such an upheaval - even if the net result is positive, it's a tough transition. Sending good thoughts your way...

PipeTobacco said...

Jenny-O.... I can so relate to your hardship of family moving to a far distant site. It is very hard.

The skyping though... it is, IMO, a true Godsend. I remember how utterly isolated and alone I felt during my years in graduate school where even talking on the phone to family was a RARE occurrence due to the expensive long-distance charges. Skype has allowed me a modicum of visual and auditory connections to distant family that (while admittedly) not equal to face-to-face interaction.... is SO MUCH more able to keep contact immediate and allow us to communicate the little day-to-day events as well as big news. I appreciate skype SO very much.

bazza said...

It has always been a fear for me, that either of my daughters would move away with their families. As it is they both live within two miles of us in the suburbs of London, England and we see our four Grandchildren regularly.
However, my younger daughter's husband is likely to be head-hunted to the US but we can't put our own feelings before their own lives!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s novaturient Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Lisa Southard said...

Sending a hug here! My step siblings live in other countries, my stepdaughter is away travelling the world - Skype and Facebook messenger are valuable ways of keeping in touch, and there's the old fashioned art of writing letters. Wishing you well xx

jenny_o said...

They might be too smart . . . there are a lot of good reasons to not have kids. Actually I never expected to end up with grandkids (daughter has a chronic illness which leaves her little energy) so these were kind of a surprise!

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Diane. We'll get through it, and it's a great opportunity for them, employment-wise.

jenny_o said...

It's good to hear how positive your experience with Skype has been, PT. I hope ours is equally rewarding. I'm trying to think positively!

jenny_o said...

You're absolutely right, bazza - our grown up kids have to do what is best for them, just as we did when we were young adults.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Lisa - it's encouraging and comforting to hear from others who have faced the same separation and found Skype and messenger helpful.

Mr. Shife said...

I'm sorry to hear about the family moving away. Not good at all. But I am hopeful that everything will work out for the best in the long run. Hang in there, jenny_o.

jenny_o said...

Even though the growing up years are hard (as you know, being in the middle of them at the moment), some days I yearn to have our kids little again. However, life doesn't work like that. Enjoy yours while they're with you, Mr. S!