Staying Close to Grandparents in the Pandemic

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My kids have two sets of grandparents whom they love very much. One set of grandparents is snowbirds who spend their winter in Florida and their summer in New Jersey. The other set of grandparents lives a few towns away from us. During the pandemic, seeing either pair of the grandparents has been the most challenging task of anything else we’ve encountered thus far.

These thoughts have come even more into focus with the upcoming #NationalGrandparentsDay. During the pandemic, we used video apps so that we could at least see each other’s faces. We would dial in at a certain time each day and the kids had the chance to talk to each set of grandparents, one at a time. A lot of times, various siblings were also on the call, so the whole family could see each other simultaneously. We did this, of course, because we were afraid to see our older relatives and jeopardize their health in any way.

We continued on with these apps throughout the pandemic and, finally, in mid-July, we made a plan to actually see them in person. My sister lives in New York, and since one set of grandparents lives locally to her, we all decided to meet there. 

Preparing for the Visit

Prior to going, we each took a COVID test to make sure we were all safe when we met up. Thankfully, we were all negative.  After nine months of not seeing them in person, the day when we finally saw them was amazing. Tears were definitely shed, but, sadly, hugs were still off-limits. But by doing it safely and keeping our bubble really small, we were able to do this a few times throughout the summer.

For the other set of grandparents who lived locally, that was a bit more challenging, as my father-in-law had to have surgery during the pandemic. For this set of grandparents, not only did we have to be really safe, but we were again tested to make sure none of us has been exposed to the virus. The worst thing in the world would have been if one of us had been asymptomatic and then passed on this virus without us knowing. When we all had a negative test again, we did our first meetup outside their house. Again, it was such a magical day because the grandparents were seeing their grandchildren for the very first time.

We continued on seeing the grandparents by way of keeping our bubble small and being very safe, so we can continue to keep them safe. We also do still use the apps on weeks when we can’t see them, and it has worked out very well. For this weekend's National Grandparents Day, we can’t wait to spend time with each one of them.

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