Friday, June 24, 2011

Keeping Long Distance Relatives Close

Over spring break, we visited Dave's brother's family in Florida.  The kids had a blast hanging out with their older cousins for a few days.  Nobody wanted to say goodbye when it was time to come home.

The kiddos also have little cousins on my side thanks to one my little brothers.  They live in North Carolina and we only get to see them a few times a year.  We always have fun when we get together, but again it's always hard to say goodbye.

Growing up I never lived near family, well accept for my mom, dad, and two little brothers of course.  All my grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles lived in Michigan so we usually only saw them a couple times a year.  The times we spent together was precious because they were so rare, but I was jealous of my friends whose grandparents and extended family were so close.  Those who had big holiday gatherings, summer adventures, and sleepovers.  I only had letters {can't remember the last time I wrote or received one of those in the snail mail} and phone calls to keep me in touch.

I like that my kids grandparents live close by so my children can have a close relationship with them all.  It also is great for free babysitting. I enjoy watching them hang out with the grandpa and grandma and their grampy and gramma.

But, unfortunately their cousins and aunts and uncles are farther away which leaves me to wonder how I can help my kids stay connected to their families who are not nearby.  I use Facebook to keep caught up, but my kiddos don't use that.  Phone calls seem so difficult as people are busy running here and there and I feel that we are interrupting if we call. I probably should encourage the kids to write letters and communicate the old fashioned way.  Then there is Skype, which we have used a couple times to talk to my little niece since the video will hold her attention.

It just seems these days that many families are becoming nomadic as they move to find better jobs, lifestyles, and just opportunities in general.  Are you blessed to have family nearby or are they far away?  If they do live away, I'm curious, how do you help your children stay connected to their family that lives far away? Inquiring minds want to know!
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