We FaceTime with my parents nearly every day. After dinner, before I put the kids to bed, we make sure to call them so that the kids can each tell them about their day. With my parents living so far away, we don’t get to see them very often, so I do whatever I can to make sure that my children maintain a strong relationship with them.
Six years ago, just after my oldest daughter was born, we moved away from my hometown. I’d lived within driving distance from my parents my entire life and suddenly, because of a great job opportunity for my husband, we decided to pack up and move thousands of miles away.
It was the best decision for our family and still continues to show us many blessings, but I would be lying if I told you that I don’t sometimes regret moving that far away from my family.
I watch grandparents as they pick up their grandchildren at school everyday. I have my friends tell me that their kids are spending the weekend at their grandparents so that they can have the weekend to themselves. Holiday dinners are just a quick drive away. In a pinch with the kids? They just call family. There have been so many times when I wished I could just pick up the phone and call my mom and dad and know that they’d be right over to help.
Last week, while my husband was out of town, I came down with the worst stomach virus I think I’ve ever had. It was one of those viruses that, no matter how old you are, you just want to call your mom and have her come over to take care of you. But she couldn’t. Because that would require her hopping on a plane — with all the time, money, and restraints that go into that.
I know my kids miss it, too. When we go and visit both my parents’ house and my in-laws’ house, they never want to leave. They cry on the plane ride home, begging to stay just one more day.
While I know that moving away was the right choice for our family, it doesn’t mean that I can’t have just a little bit of regret. Technology is wonderful, but it doesn’t replace that connection that we get from seeing them face-to-face.
Although I’m in my 30s, I still miss those days of having my parents around all the time. Now that I am a parent and see how much joy my kids get when they have their grandparents around, I know that they miss them, too.