Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Long-distance Nana

Our daughter and son-in-law came through late last night with little Ethan. They are moving to Florida, which means they will be twice as far away as they were before. After a short night and a bit of Ethan-cuddling, my emotions were doing flip-flops. When my hubby held him and I took this photo, my heart nearly melted.

We're going to miss this little guy. Since he was born in March, I've personally made at least three trips to their home (4 hours away) and they've been in our home on three occasions. Plus, dear hubby and I have gone up together twice, so that means in his short life (3 months), we been blessed to cuddle and coo with our grandson on many occasions. I realize there are many grandparents who don't have this privilege, so I appreciate the blessing of knowing Ethan.

Every time we've said goodbye in the past, it felt like a part of my heart was left behind, still connected with this child's heart. He has always had such a grown-up look in his eyes, as if he understands everything I say to him. We've shared a lot of special moments, the two of us. I've walked and rocked him through those first few weeks after his birth when Mommy needed a bit of sleep. Most nights, he fell asleep on my tummy while I rested on the couch.

Now, a big chunk of my heart is moving eight hours south to Florida. I'm sure Ethan will change a lot before our next together-time. During our last moments together this morning, he gazed into my eyes and seemed to understand I was having a tough time disconnecting. In the past, he's grinned and chortled, but this morning, he had an almost wise look in his eyes ... a look that said, "It's going to be okay, Nana ... "

Forgive my pitiful post. I'm hurting, but I'm also happy for my kids. Do hurt and happy go together? I think so in this case. I'm hurting to say goodbye to them, but happy they have a lovely home to move into when their furniture is delivered. I'm also happy they will be closer to Ethan's other grandparents -- Nonny and Papa -- so they can love on him more often. They're precious people and Ethan needs to know them better.

So I have to grow up and get used to being a long-distance Nana. I shouldn't whine too much -- my own mother has been a long-distance Grandma to most of her grands and great-grands. She's handled it with grace, and I want to do that, too.

When our children were little, we lived 10 hours drive away, so I made it a point to send her and my Dad (who's now in heaven) audio tapes, video tapes and lots of cards and letters scribbled by little hands. Now it's my turn to be a long-distance Nana. Knowing our daughter, she'll be a good little scribe and make sure we keep up with our grandson's development.

While Florida is only (!) eight hours away, it seems much further somehow. Maybe because a part of my heart went out the door with little Ethan this morning. Okay, it's time to put on my little blue engine attitude -- I can do this. At least I think I can ... I think I can ... I think I can ...


  1. I looked at the photograph you posted of Ethan, and the first words (utterances) out of my mouth were..."ahhhhhhh"....He is ABSOLUTELY beautiful!
    I live near enough to him that I can probably give him some shuuugar from a friend of Nan/Nana. By the way, that's what my grandchildren call me: Nana. I love the sound of "Nana." I know that you feel like you have a hole in your heart exactly the size of Ethan right now....I do know that. Isn't that 'tummy sleep' just THE best cuddling time ever....
    I'm thinking of you this evening. You can do it, Nana. You can do it.
    Let me know if there's anything I can do...a smile here....a post and a hug there....and I do hope that you get lots and lots of photographs, videos, etc. from your daughter and son-in-law.
    Since we have computers, you could probably have them do the camera thingie and see him every day. A thought!! Wouldn't that be priceless!
    Ethan is precious. Your post is not pitiful, Nan. It is full of Nana love....absolutely.
    Smiles from Jackie

  2. Aw... we're the kids who moved away with the grandkids. :-) It was the very best thing for our family. But, I feel your pain. :-) Your daughter needs to blog so you can get regular pic updates, and hear all the cute kid things he does as he grows!! :-)

  3. July 17
    Hi again, Nan. I couldn't stay away....back to check on you....feeling your sorrow...and hoping that you feel the hugs sent your way from me.......

  4. My son, his wife and my two grandchildren leave to drive to Texas tomorrow. It will take 2 days for them to get there....and I have quite a nervous stomach about it. They haven't been this far away from me (us) ever. My daughter-in-law's family lives there, and they haven't seen the children.
    One Nana to another reaches out to you....with a hug.

  5. Thanks, Jackie. I am doing okay for now. We will have to support one another in the day ahead. I know your heart is breaking.

    Melissa does call every other day or so and fills me in. Right now they're still unpacking and trying to get settled, so she's a busy lil' Mama.
    I hope you get lots of photos, phone calls and emails.


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