Some days I wish my family lived close, and that we were more involved in each other’s lives and spent more time together. In the same breath – life is absolutely what you make it. We have all chosen to live where we want to be and sadly that’s geographically distant from each other – but on the plus side it’s a great reason to holiday and visit as often as we can!
Facetime is truly the most awesome invention – or Skype or Messenger video calls, Viber or whatever other app you’ve found…being able to see and connect with your siblings/parents/extended family and friends is the best! We make an effort to call both sets of grandparents at least once a week, because I know how much I loved my grandparents being such a big part of my childhood growing up – and they love it too! When my dad recently came to visit, the Royals who are very stranger danger children, welcomed him with open arms much to everyone’s delight!!!
One of the sets of grandparents are travelling around Australia at the moment with their caravan and enjoying life on the road…and the Royals get postcards from weird and wonderful places along the way which makes them so happy! They might not have the connectivity to chat as often as they would like, but the unexpected post cards from their travels keeps the Royals checking that letterbox at least once daily, which is cool.
I worry that the art of actually hand writing letters and postcards is a dying tradition – bring on the age of digital everything. Can’t write or spell – just dictate to your phone and let Siri do it for you. Don’t get me wrong, I do love technology but I worry at what expense it is changing the lives of our kids and not necessarily always for the better.
Thankfully the kids love craft and are absolutely prolific in their creations – so there’s always plenty of samples to send the grandparents, and painted artwork to use as Christmas wrapping paper when the art collection is getting a bit too generous for the day/week/month! A few months ago the eldest Royal drew a rough sketch for my dad, and insisted that he take it home and put it on the fridge (where all the best artwork goes). Whenever they chat, he makes sure to show off the picture on the fridge and without fail the Royals grin like crazy chimps and spend the next few hours drawing more.
It’s not about the fancy presents, it’s about time…and spending quality time not only with us (the kids) but the grand kids too – it keeps them young and engaged in all the right ways. It’s an ideal time to sit and play with them uninterrupted – push them along on their bikes, build mud pies and sandcastles and hold their hands as they walk along the limestone walls – these are the things that build memories…not necessarily the latest lightsaber/dinosaur/Barbie house or DC/Marvel hero costume! (That said, the Royals absolutely love all that stuff, but I’m sure you get what I mean).
So I encourage you to pick up the phone, arrange a trip, check out some flights/trains/buses/trams/bike paths and book some time away from your everyday to visit your family. I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time, sometimes you have to carve and create time, but it’s so worth it for the smiles and sweet memories you and your parents/kids/grand kids will have…