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Grandparenting

Such a relief

(20 Posts)
JackyB Mon 15-Jul-19 17:55:04

DS1 is in California with DGS who is just 5 and my DiL is pregnant with the next DGS (Yay!).

We always skype on a Saturday evening - Saturday morning their time. That way we don't interrupt any of their weekend plans. There is no time during the week when DS1 is home from work AND DGS is not in bed, so it's just this once a week.

The weekend before last we only had a quick chat because they were in the car and we couldn't really understand each other. (They had had to put off their Independence Day weekend holiday till the Saturday because the little one had been ill on the Thursday.)

So this weekend, I didn't expect them to go away - two weekends in a row seemed a bit much, even for them. I sent the usual Whatsapp at around 6 pm on Saturday, with a few follow-ups to say we were ready to skype, but neither DS1 nor DiL picked up the messages - in fact, they (the messages) stubbornly remained with one little tick in the bottom, which meant they hadn't even been received.

There was me imagining awful things happening - DiL has had miscarriages before- I was fearing the worst.

But yesterday afternoon, I finally got a message from my lovely DiL to apologise. They had been camping in a very remote spot and didn't have any reception in amongst the redwood trees. She sent me some lovely photos of their camping weekend.

About an hour later, DS1 sent a laconic reply to my Whatsapps, also apologising. Boys! I'm so grateful that I have such lovely DiL's. Without them I wouldn't know what is going on at all.

But one of the pictures made up for it. It showed DGS and DS1 sitting on little camping chairs, and the little one was whittling a stick - he looked very professional! A beautiful Daddy and son moment. I was so moved, and so proud!

Good job I didn't allow myself to express the panic I was feeling inside. It all turned out well in the end; I was so relieved. Of course, if we weren't connected by our phones, I would never have suspected anything; ignorance would have been bliss.

Sorry to go on so long. I just had to express my relief after being sick with worry all weekend.

You never stop being a parent, do you?

Jane10 Mon 15-Jul-19 18:11:49

Phew Jacky! What a relief.

SisterAct Mon 15-Jul-19 18:14:18

Glad all was well.

EllanVannin Mon 15-Jul-19 18:21:16

Plenty of those moments as a parent and grandparent !

Grammaretto Mon 15-Jul-19 18:37:00

It is a drawback of our modern world that we expect instant replies. When my DD did her gap year in South America there was no way of contacting her apart from when she phoned home. I used to pray frequently.
So glad all was well in your family smile

Bordersgirl57 Tue 16-Jul-19 18:22:16

Oh my! I feel the ups and downs of that! I'm a catastrophobe and my mind just relentlessly works though the increasingly terrible scenarios! It has alway been nothing of the sort. Thank you for being the same!!!!! And well done for not saying anything.

grannyqueenie Tue 16-Jul-19 18:31:27

Phew, what a relief for you and so good that you didn’t spoil the moment by blurting out how worried you’d been! Sometimes we need to just watch, wait and trust that they’ll get in touch when they’re able to. But oh my word it’s so hard to do, isn’t it? You’re right, a communicative dil who keeps you in the loop is a real treasure!

Norah Tue 16-Jul-19 18:34:54

Instant communications and expectations are a big problem.

nipsmum Wed 17-Jul-19 10:33:42

Back in the 70 s my then husband worked in the oil industry. No phone communication at all in theses days. It was terrible . When he was in Africa one time I had no letters at all for over 6 weeks one time. I was sick with worry. When my daughter aged 5 was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery, the only way I could let him know was by Telegram. He was offshore in New Zealand then I appreciate easy communication now all over the world.

BlueBelle Wed 17-Jul-19 10:43:07

I do agree Norah I try hard not to fall into the trap but it’s so easy to expect to know where they are all the time and to imagine the worst when not in contact
When I left home to join my husband in Malaysia at age 20=my poor mum and dad didn’t even know I d arrived safely until the blur air letter arrived 7 to 10 days later We didn’t even have a landline in those days

BlueSapphire Wed 17-Jul-19 13:02:13

Like BlueBelle I flew off to Singapore in 1969, and my family also had to wait for the airmail letter to tell them I had arrived. They too did not have a phone.

Newatthis Wed 17-Jul-19 13:17:10

I am in exactly the same position as you. DD, SiL and DG (only grandchild) are too in California so we have the saturday night Facetime call. I get a little worried when it seldom doesn't happen but hen, the following day, she contacts me. You Know, it doesn't mean that because they are so far away something might happen. You will worry yourself to an early grave if you think that. It's very difficult having long distance relationships especially with our children and grandchildren. I know know what it must have been like for my mother as we lived overseas for best part of our children's lives when they were growing up.

Suebcrafty Wed 17-Jul-19 16:04:37

Our youngest son lives in California with his American wife and we keep in touch via WhatsApp,she sent us a message on Monday morning 8.25 our time,so 12.25am their time,to tell us he was in the emergency room with stomach pains and had blood taken ....found out he had too much acid in his stomach so has to be on a low acidic diet until it settles....she then messaged us to let us know that he was back at their home sleeping .....messaged him late afternoon,our time,and he replied “yeah I’m fine don’t worry just some stomach issues” and I replied” We are your parents and we worry,after all we can’t just hop in the car to come and she you!”

Willow500 Wed 17-Jul-19 16:50:45

My son is in NZ so when we've FT it's usually their Sun morning our (late) Sat night so we wait until they send a message to ask if we're around. More often than not though we don't hear from them for several weeks - he works 6 days a week and also gigs at weekends so is pretty exhausted. They also try to get the children out of the house on a Sun morning as soon as they can as they are so boisterous. I do worry though as time goes by that we've not spoken to them. I can't remember the last time we spoke to the children but it's at least 3 months ago. He's notoriously bad at replying to messages too although my DIL is a little better on WhatsApp. It's sad but we've learned to live with it and as long as they're healthy that's all that matters.

B9exchange Wed 17-Jul-19 23:27:13

Eldest son left for his gap year telling us he was grown up and would not communicate in any way until we met him at the airport on his return. He was 18, going off to a very undeveloped country, and it was like a complete bereavement. No mobile phones then, not that he would have used one. It was nothing short of agony. Then three days later the phone rang early one morning, and it was him to say he had arrived at the school he was going to help out at. (bad grammar, sorry!)

We then heard nothing for months until a fax arrived at work 'please send money, been living on boiled rice for two weeks'!

Whilst waiting for his plane at the end of his gap year I was reading a magazine to while away the time, and there was a story about a mother waiting for her child to return from their gap year, the plane landed, but no sign of her child, it turned out she had died on the flight!! You can imagine the state of me, and the almost hysterical relief when he walked out of departures.

He still doesn't like contact.... sad

GreenGran78 Thu 18-Jul-19 00:11:29

We never stop worrying about our children, no matter how old they are, do we?
I have three of my five living in Australia. The two 'boys' are notoriously bad at communicating, but their wives keep me up to date, and chivvy them into having the occasional chat. My daughter has a regular spot early on Wednesday morning, which is her day off. She rings for a Facetime chat as soon as my 2 year-old GD is up and about. It's usually between 11 and midnight, but I don't mind. I get taken into the playroom to watch her play, or she 'reads' me a story. This week she copied her own bedtime routine for me. When her mum said that Grandma was going to bed now she hugged me (i.e the phone) to her chest and sang "Hush, little baby, don't say a word" to me. Needless to say, it brought tears to my eyes!

What hell it must have been before modern communication methods!

Grammaretto Thu 18-Jul-19 06:26:16

One DS was away for months in the 90s travelling across Brazil and Peru. One day I was feeling particularly low and worried so wrote him a long, loving email in the hope that at some point he would receive it.
Moments later he wrote back saying "you're never far from an internet café in darkest Peru!"
So telepathy worked again.

Calendargirl Thu 18-Jul-19 06:56:33

My DD went on Au Pair in America for a year when she was almost 19. She was quite homesick the first few weeks, we phoned twice a week, our phone bill that month was £300!
Only way we could communicate then.
Now lives in Australia, still phone her weekly, sometimes it’s just easier than FaceTime etc. but much, much cheaper than back then! Often message her if anything crops up to tell her about.

Direne3 Wed 24-Jul-19 16:34:39

B9exchange I trust you destroyed said magazine in case it unsettled some other waiting person.

Starlady Mon 29-Jul-19 09:41:20

Glad turned out ok in the end, Jacky. IMO, they would have done well to let you know they would be away and possibly w/o service. But maybe they didn't realize they wouldn't have service or this was just an oversight. Anyhow, again, thankfully, they finally contacted you and all was well.