COVID has put a damper on many things, from school to holidays and everything in between. It has been incredibly difficult to navigate.
Throughout the pandemic, I have only seen my grandparents less than five times. Not being able to see my grandparents for so long is one thing I did not expect. I am used to seeing them at least twice a month, and I take my children to see them at their nursing home as well.
You may be in the same boat, missing your aging family members.
As far as Grandparent’s Day goes this year, my family is celebrating a little differently. We will continue to connect with my grandparents in ways that have worked for us during the pandemic.
Not only have these ideas encouraged and helped pass the time for my grandparents, but also have helped my children.
Put it in the mail! My children have colored pictures, and we send them in the mail to our grandparents. It not only creates an activity of coloring or any type of art project, but also an adventure of mailing the packages. I let my toddlers help me put it in the envelope, address it, put the stamp on, and then take it to the mailbox. It really becomes a full afternoon, which is helpful during this time when we can’t go many places. My grandparents do not get very much mail, so this really helps when we can not go see them in person. It really brightens my grandparents’ day to receive something from the kids.
Drop off! Something else we have done during the pandemic is drop off groceries or snack items. On Sundays, we usually try to drop off some things for them. My grandfather will meet us (masked, of course), and wave at the children. If you do not live near your loved ones, you could schedule drop offs with delivery services as fun surprises and treats.
Surprise! We have also been sending my grandparents puzzles. My grandfather is such an avid puzzle person; he enjoy them and it helps pass the quarantine time. We would get ones with more pieces and bright colors so it took him longer, and then the finished product was definitely worth it. Think about hobbies and activities your grandparents enjoy and find ways for them to engage in those activities whether through a gift or a subscription, etc.
Talk! We try to call my grandparents frequently as well. I know my mom talks to my grandmother daily, and I talk to my mom daily, so I hope that’s a tradition we can continue. My grandparents have so much love and advice to give; it really breaks my heart that we are unable to see them in the capacity we are used to.
My twins have memories visiting them, and it is difficult to explain to them that we cannot see each other right now, which is hard for a four year old. Who am I kidding? It’s hard for me.
So, I am reflecting this Grandparent’s Day and thinking about the times we have spent together — and hopefully the time we will spend together again.