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.