“Grandmother Connection”


To begin thinking about the difference the pandemic has had on my life, I share two photos of me with one or two grandchildren. In the photo on the left I am embracing a granddaughter as we float along a mill pond at Old Sturbridge Village. She was a little dubious about the ride and needed my reassurance which I could give her with a tight hug. I have always had a physically affectionate relationship with the kids.

Because their parents’ work  exposes them to the virus, and because my husband and I are both in the “old” category, we have had to maintain a six foot distance when connecting with the kids. In the photo on the right I have measured out the safe space with a tape(barely visible on the lawn in the shade). They are sitting together(out of the shot since I don’t show them on-line) and talking with me. In a bit we played a trivia game on an app called Kahoot which they demonstrated for me. I won General Knowledge but flunked Memory. My grandson went off to ride his scooter and my granddaughter lingered a bit to talk books.

Yes I can still see them when the weather permits. But no, there is not the easy flow between our homes with one or the other popping in for a visit. I can’t touch them, can’t sit near by to watch a movie, and can’t share a meal at our table. We can’t go on outings such as the one to Sturbridge. We can’t take a summer trip together.

On the whole then, the pandemic has had a negative effect on the grandmother connection. We are having to put great effort where there used to be simple ease. I have yet to identify any positive effects from the virus for our relationship.

42 thoughts on ““Grandmother Connection”

  1. Yes, this is the hardest part of the pandemic – the physical distancing. My mom lives 10 minutes away but can’t leave her residence. We talk on the phone and once a week or so I go down and deliver a package. I give her a call, and we wave to one another through the window. But I really do miss being able to give her a hug, go out for lunch, or just sit and play cards at her place. Who knows how harmful this is on our psyche? I can’t wait till it’s over.


  2. I’m so sorry that you aren’t able to see your grandchildren in person, but you are doing the prudent thing. It is times like these that teach us that family grudges are something to be worked out. What’s the adage—don’t go to bed angry.

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  3. There are no benefits for relationships from this virus, Elizabeth. We do know, however, that the world has experienced plagues and pandemics before and that they do pass. So we have something to look forward to.


  4. All of mine are grown up now Elizabeth so even though we miss each other it’s not quite the same as ‘missing’ the love a little one shows/gives. We text and email and phone each other but it’s been that way for a while now
    But……there’s going to be lots of meals shared lots of hugs shared and lots of giggles shared when this is all over. I might even get a hug from the big boys/men a couple of them have grown into 😊


  5. I miss the family hugs; I really do not miss the kissing etiquette that we British men over a certain age find vaguely latin and louche. The fact a friend of my wife, say, who used to kiss my wife and who I’ve known and liked for decades is now someone I’m meant to kiss left me utterly confused. The quarantine has rid me of that dilemma. Hurrah!


  6. Julie feels the same way about her two. The baby girl was only born on Feb 5th, so she has had little contact with her since. And now we see her growing fast on Face-Time, but no contact.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  7. The hugging may be on hold (so to speak) — but the love never lets go. Finding other ways to “keep in touch” may be challenging, but LOVE WILL FIND A WAY (from Lion King II).


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