Grandparenting in a COVID world

We became grandparents for the first time only eight months ago. Within a week my wife and I were holding our new granddaughter in our arms in Calgary. It was love at first sight. We were back at Christmas building our bonds with this new wonderful young lady named after her great grandmother, grandmothers, and grandfather. She had stretched out and was becoming more aware of what was going on around her. She would let you know when she was hungry and when she needed changing.
My wife and I had planned on seeing her a minimum of every three months, building up our bonds. Unfortunately, in March on our way to visit, we turned back as the provincial lockdowns began. It was a good decision, but not having held or kissed or snuggled or played with our new granddaughter in almost six months, we feel that we are missing out as grandparents.
We returned home less than a day after leaving to see our granddaughter. We have self quarantined, limiting our out of home experiences to grocery shopping and going to the cabin.
I know we are not alone as grandparents. My sister and her husband yearn to see their two new grand babies born in February in Windsor and Chicago. My brother and his wife had planned to vacation with their daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons on St. Croix along with their son, his wife and three grandchildren living in Fort Frances. I envy him that he can visit with his grandchildren in the Fort.
Across the world grandparents are missing out on time with their grandchildren.
We have been relegated to being faces on an electronic box. We do not even know if our grandchildren are aware of who we are. They cannot smell us, or touch our faces, or see us down on our knees playing with them. A face on a box is difficult to bond to.
It is especially difficult for grandparents at a distance, who want to maintain a strong bond with their grandchildren. Research suggests that this relationship is deeply significant for many of Canada’s millions of grandparents, not just because grandparents often help their grandkids financially, but because they share their wisdom and guidance.
All children are only young once and missing out on those first months and years is heart breaking. There remain issues in travelling to see your grandkids. Travelling alone by car may be the safest method of visiting. Are there rest stops for bathroom breaks? Do you feel safe in flying? Can you pass across provincial borders? Can you visit a foreign country? Will I endanger my grandkids health? Could they endanger the health of their grandparents?

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