[Here is an article I wrote for my grandparenting column a couple of years ago. I thought it would be fun to share it here.]
This past Christmas we took our biannual holiday cruise and planned it so that we could visit a bit with our Florida grands before the trip and visit with our Seattle grands after the cruise. Everything was going well until our cruise ship was delayed in disembarking passengers in San Diego and we missed our flight to Seattle. We were put on standby and waited through three flights finally getting on the last flight out at midnight. That got us into Seattle at 2 a.m.
Thankfully our son did not have to work the next day and he waited up for us and let us in. The kids were fast asleep and had no idea when we were going to arrive. The next morning our granddaughter got up and announced, “Fie, Fi, Fo, Fum! Grandma and Grandpa are here! I can smell ‘em.”
That sent my husband to wondering if his deodorant wasn’t working any more.
When our son moved his family to Seattle and had the audacity to take our grandkids with him, he and his wife sought a house that had a spare room, an in-law suite of sorts. They planned to ask the grandparents to visit as much as was possible. It’s very nice. We have our own bathroom and it is downstairs away from the main living area so if we need “time out” we can take it.
Our Florida kids are not as fortunate. The depressed housing market has trapped them in a small townhouse that is beginning to bulge at the seams with three kids and a rambunctious dog. When we visit them, we stay at a Hampton Inn that is nearby. It works out well for us because we can bring the grands to the hotel and make use of the pool. They love it and it gives us a chance to give Mom a little free time as well.
The third set of grands don’t live very far from us—about 2 ½ hours drive. But they live in the city where my husband’s family lives as well. We used to go and stay with one or the other but then felt obligated to visit more with the host and felt that we were neglecting the others. We solved it by staying at a Marriott Courtyard that has become “home away from home.” Again, there is a pool that the grands enjoy and we can make the rounds visiting each relative and staying for only a short time so that we can see everyone.
That’s what works for us. What works for you? Perhaps you don’t have a distance problem where it requires an overnight stay but if you do, consider carefully what will work best for all concerned. Depending upon your stamina and patience and budget and available bed space, you may choose to stay at your children’s home. If you do, be aware that your grandkids just might “sniff” you out.