You are there. We are here.
There’s no sense in mincing words – it sucks, I know.
You feel like you’re missing things – big things, little things, and all the things in between.
The announcements, the appointments, THE BIRTH, the firsts and milestones, not to mention the day-to-day, nitty-gritty of what makes a little family unique. You get snippets of each through phone calls, texts, and FaceTime, but overall? Honestly, you feel a bit left out.
Like the baby is growing so fast, it will probably have a mustache and a 401K by the next visit. Like given the choice, your precious grand would rather cozy up with the UPS man instead of their blood relative because they see them more.
The pain can be nagging at best, and gutting at worst. I know.
As someone who is raising a family 3226 miles from part of her clan, I am fully aware of how much this hurts. I’ve lived this reality for the 4-½ years I’ve been a mother, flip-flopping between coasts, and alternating between family members who are left behind. It completely sucks, for all of us.
But here’s the thing…
You? You are with us every day.
You are with us in the stories we share with our babies. You are with us in the songs we sing to them as they (hopefully) fall asleep. You are with us during the dance parties we have to the music we grew up listening to, at volumes that may or may not have affected our long-term hearing.
You are with us in the meals we prepare to remind us of home. You are with us in the books we choose to read, because they were the books you read to us when we were little.
You are with us in the thick of it when we wonder how you did this and survived. You are with us in the moments of sheer joy when we smile and think about how this all would be just a tiny bit better if you were here to share in the laughter and happiness.
You are with us, because you are part of us, AND you are part of them.
AND WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL! ::channels inner Vana White and gesticulates wildly at nothing in particular::
Because you aren’t here every day, you automatically earn Magical Unicorn Status.
Like Crystal Pepsi and reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Magical Unicorn Status is reserved for people and things that are rare and exquisite. By being far away, you are held in a state of reverence, and are spoken of in terms one doesn’t necessarily envision eventually speaking of their parents in.
This isn’t meant to take away from what you’re feeling.
Your sadness at not being here is both understood and completely fair. We feel it, too. Feel your sadness, but also know that we are talking about you, thinking about you, and loving you with our kids every single day.
Raising your family far from family isn’t easy on anyone, but there’s something to be said about that whole distance making the heart grow fonder thing. And if trusting that isn’t enough, I can assure you the occasional gift REALLY nails home the point that you are a Magical Unicorn Grandparent, especially if it has something on it that mommy and daddy would never go for – like musical abilities with minimal volume control.