Monday, 18 January 2016

Support at a distance

There are days when I ponder on whether or not the actual physical distance between me and my (grand)+children is a hindrance or not. Certainly coffee and stay-over moments are out of the question but I was thinking more in the lines of; How I can be of practical support as far as advice ( giving and taking), sharing of hopes and dreams and generally 'being a mum/oma' at a distance? And is that distance a spell breaker?

My children all have families of their own. Their addresses are spread over Australia and New Zealand. They are beautiful adults with firm goals and hopes and dreams as all ( or most?) parents are. I admire their energie, their drive and commitment to their children and each other. No road is smooth, no journey without it's disappointments and challenges. Still they journey on - together with the occasional input, where and when asked, needed or offered, by me as their 'living at a distance' mum.

And last weekend I had one of those moments. A few years ago one of my grandsons asked me to play an online computer game with him. I bought the game- tried to get the hang of it- yes, I did try, but eventually he did opt out and played with his friends- saying, " It is ok oma, this is just not your thing". We did play Scrabble too a while- which was also fun. So in sense we shared the same space as if I was there visiting. It felt good.

Now that same grandson is heading for his last year High School. At his age it is still very hard for him to know in which direction he wants to go - in deciding on future study plans. And that isn't unusual. Having to choose something for life when you've just come calling. For a wee moment I felt useless. As a mum of 3, a former teacher and having worked with students I am only too aware of how frustratingly hard this choice making situation can be. Not only for the child but also the adults, the parents who feel unable to communicate or advise on this matter without it becoming a challenging conversation- leading to more frustration. Some parents have this dream that their child will follow in their footsteps ( profession) and some definitely don't want that at all.

So now, my grandson and I have chatted about this for a while- and I made him an offer. I suggested that he and I work together on finding what suits his style, knowledge and interest. We are going on a treasure hunt together. With regular 'meets' online, we will dive into the possibilities with as goal- some sort of answer to the question: Where to after this.....! After all, if I was in the neighbourhood - I would do the same.

At the present point in time we are looking at making a schedule, setting goals ( one step at a time) and learning how we can both become disciplined in this exciting journey together. It involves trust and commitment by us both- because I need to also deliver the support, encouragement and follow ups - to keep the ball rolling. There is no real ' big brother' check up system in place- just our own honesty and perseverance. I am keen to get started and especially excited about - the journey itself. We will use 2016 to travel together. How cool is that?

TOGETHER with my grandson - from a distance - but on the same wave length.



  1. That is very cool! And it's a wonderful idea. :) I hope you don't mind if I maybe borrow it my my grandson gets older (he's 8 now). Building a relationship with him thus far has been wonderful, and although he lives nearby, I can see where your idea can work here too. Thanks so much for sharing this. You are indeed a good grandma!

    1. Indeed Karen, it is VERY cool. I feel blessed and extremely privileged. It also motivates me to set and attain my goals. What a great asset Internet can be if used wisely. Enjoy those early years Karen- they just melt away into the past so terribly quickly. Borrow all you like- great to be of some inspiration. I love being an oma I can tell you. XX

  2. Ahhh Anita, that is very cool! I think it is an amazing blessing to have that closeness with your grandson, such a blessing. I pray the Lord use you in his life in an amazing way.
    God bless

    1. Thank you Tracy. I too am aware of the preciousness of this relationship and by means of this modern medium. I can use all the prayers I can get to make sure my communication and my reactions reach the right spot in his lovely heart so as to help him on the right path to adulthood.