We are used to traveling long distances to visit our grandchildren. Until a year ago, we didn’t live near any of them. Now, we have moved so we live in the same town as one of our daughters, her husband and two of our grandchildren. It has given me a new perspective on the long distance visits.
If you are in the position of needing to visit your grands because you don’t live close to them, learn to enjoy the ordinary events. When you think about it, that’s what grandparents do with their local grandchildren most of the time.
Enjoy the ordinary with your children and grandchildren
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t do special things while you visit. I’m just saying you don’t need to fill all your time with special events. They wear all of you out! They add deadlines…and stress. You don’t want that when you’re there for a short visit. You want some balance to your visit.
So, when you are planning for your trip, definitely plan some special events…1-3 during 5-7 days is plenty. Especially if they are young. Remember the fun of the ordinary.
When you were a kid, do you remember visiting your grandparents? How often was it just the ordinary things you did there that made it fun?
Didn’t you do things like baking cookies? Helping your grandmother vacuum the floor, fold the laundry, maybe even wash the dishes? They were things you would never do at home, but you enjoyed it at your grandparents’!
Even ordinary meals with your kids and grandkids…the visiting and talking around the table are often quite entertaining as you learn what is going on in the minds of your grandkids!
Some of our events this trip
So far, on this trip, we have had a big event…our granddaughter’s graduation from 5th grade. (Yes, they wore their uniforms.) Of course, we didn’t know most of the parents of her friends because we haven’t been able to attend many of the other school events.
But we also had some fun ordinary events. We went to the bakery shop one morning and had breakfast rolls together. Also, they had some time on the playground one afternoon with granddad. They showed him their favorite tree to climb.
One day we spent time time playing games with each other and watching a movie. Just ordinary things, but lots of fun!
Another day was nail salon day. Tata (my name) even enjoyed a moisturizing foot massage for her dry feet! (I passed on the nail polish.
We spent one day down by the fish market (we’re in Seattle, WA). The girls even posed on Rachel the pig! We rode on the huge ferris wheel, browsed some of the shops and spent some time in the arcade.
We won the jackpot!
In case you’re worried that our grands will turn into gamblers someday, my daughter said she only takes them there once a year. It’s a good thing. While we were there 3 of us won the jackpot on one of the games. The tickets were pouring out of the machine! I rarely win jackpots of any kind. After we won, we had to decide what candy and toys to buy with all those tickets. It was fun!
Consider the age appropriateness of your activities in order to have a fun day!
Of course, you need to consider what is age appropriate for the children involved. These children are 5, 8, and 11. Sometimes we have all three together, but often we have 2 out of three because one is being taken to an appointment or class or lesson. For some reason, two out of three works out great! Keeping two happy seems to be a piece of cake! But keeping 3 happy and engaged on a project seems more difficult…probably because there is a wider age difference! Also because of more personalities involved. It seems our family doesn’t produce many introverts or mild mannered people. There are a few genes for it, but very few!
We had a fun visit. We look forward to more as well. But they will be in a different house. It was sad to say good-bye to the house they have lived in for 10 years. But fun to see where they will move to in a few weeks. Our next visit will be to a different place but with the same special people.
Good-bye to the lovely home you built on Queen Anne! It started as a 100 year old house that had been ignored and you cared for it and fixed it up so it would look beautiful!. It does! Now another family will enjoy the warmth of your cozy house.
So enjoy the ordinary…
…whether visiting your grown children or grandchildren out of town. You’ll learn a lot about their lives and have fun doing it in a less stressful visit.
About the Author: Martha Grimm Brady is a wife, mom and grandmother. She has lived all over – in the US and abroad – as a nurse and pastor’s wife, and has recently moved to north Alabama near family. Since 2007, Martha has been writing and blogging. You can find her at GrittyGrace.com.
Photo Credit: Martha G. Brady