Dear out-of-town grandparent,

I see you in your house over there. Too far for me to see, but familiar enough for me to envision.

I see you as you live your days in that place so far away. I know your thoughts turn to the faces of your grandchildren more times than you can track, even when their hugs are miles apart.

I know you have an identity. It varies from retiree, to full-time employee, to friend, to mom. I know the distance between us does not make “grandparent” any less than your most preferred identity.

I see you look at the calendar, I see you pick up your phone to text about the next visit. I feel you calculate the miles and hours and minutes.

I know how much you long to be close enough to never have to plan.

I see you rush to get ready when you read an early morning text that the entire family has been blasted with the most awful stomach virus in the entire world. I see you get into your car for the two hour drive that will seem like five in your desire to get here quickly.

I see your Travelocity search history of plane flights and your Google search history of “how to teleport”. I can hear you weigh the price of plane tickets against the number of hours of driving.

I know you’re envious of all those grandparents who never have to plan ahead. Those who can be there in minutes, those who can pick up from school, help with a sick kid, or drop by a baseball game on a simple whim.

I see that as great as it is for those close-by grandparents, your planning to be involved has to be deeper, more complicated, and more intentional, making it even more appreciated.

I know that as hard as it is for us not having you near to help, it is even harder for you to not be near enough to offer it.

I see, I hear, I watch, I feel your connection to my children. A connection that is a testament of the effort you’ve made to be so much a part of their lives, regardless of the miles and hours.

And do not, for one second, think that they don’t see, hear, watch, and feel it too.

Dear out of town grandparent, you are the best.

With love always,
Your family

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Leah Porritt

A behavior specialist by profession, Leah finds passion in assisting parents with finding creative ways in which to support children with behavioral, cognitive, physical, and medical challenges. Leah enjoys the humor that comes with parenting and sharing it as a way to encourage mothers to support and encourage each other. Once a Division I athlete, Leah still enjoys running and participating in races with her oldest son . . . even though she is much slower these days.