My married son moves far away and then brings me a distant grandchild… life is full of happiness mixed with disappointment it seems.

My mantra these days when folks ask how I feel about my son living so far away and a grandchild on the way: “I balance my sadness with my joy that my children are so happy,” — which they are.

Ok, that’s what I say, but now here’s how I really feel. Blah Blah Blah to all those who say, “It’s a short 3 hour flight to Minnesota”. When you say this just know that I hear crickets. Or when they say “At least when you are together it will be precious quality time.” At this line I don’t hear crickets, I hear my inner voice shouting, “Now shut up. You have no idea what your platitude does to me”. And for those who say not what they think I want to hear but something truthful like THAT SUCKS, or SORRY TO HEAR THAT, I say, thank you for your honesty. You know what you are talking about.

Lately in anticipation of my oldest son and daughter in law about to have my far away baby granddaughter, I think about Opposite Day. Do you remember this game when your kids were in pre-school or maybe older?

It goes like this:

Opposite Day is a game often played by children in which statements and actions are meant to be understood as the opposite of what they usually mean. For instance, if someone says, “Today is Opposite Day,” it means that everything said or done should be interpreted in reverse. If a child says, “I don’t want ice cream,” it means they actually do want ice cream. The concept of Opposite Day is used to create a playful environment, encouraging creative thinking. I should try this.

George Costanza from Seinfeld fame used this Opposite Day approach when he continually was rejected by the opposite sex. He decided to tell woman he was “bold, unemployed and living with his parents”. And it worked, he got a hot date.

Another strategy to deal with Cognitive Dissonance, which is a fancy term for when a person experiences discomfort or tension due to holding two or more contradictory beliefs, is to convince yourself otherwise. I do this all the time. She wasn’t a good friend anyway. I never really wanted that job. In other words, the discomfort leads individuals to seek ways to reduce the dissonance, typically by changing their beliefs.

So armed with Seinfeld/Larry David humor (our go to), Opposite Day tactics from pre school and my only A plus grade in College as a Psychology Major (Cognitive Dissonance), here is what I’m thinking these days to alleviate my suffering and sadness with respect to being a distant grandma.

For internal consistency, I’ve chosen the strategy of changing my beliefs with these statements. I’m sure I’ll come up with more when the reality sets in, as in the baby is actually born.

The benefits of being a distant grandma:

l. I won’t be called in the middle of the night to help out (can’t, too far away)

2. I hardly saw them when they lived 4 miles away in Boston, so how will this be different?

3. I really don’t like little kids that much, more than dogs yes, but not that much more. Clarification: I did love my kids when they were small, beyond words. But like Miranda Hobbes, played by Cynthia Nixon” stated in Sex in the City, “I like kids, my own kids”.

4. I have a son in Boston, focus on him. He’s just as good as the other two, maybe even better. One out of three ain’t bad.

5. Going to sports games, school performances, ballet recitals sounds totally boring: been there, done that (just not the ballet part with three sons).

With tongue-in-cheek humor, a tinge of disappointment, and more than anything else so much love for my children and their wonderful choices I put this issue to bed and sign off.

My Strategy To Deal With A Far Away New Grandchild on The Way was last modified: by

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