The Empty Nest is a Walk in the Park Compared to Having Long-Distance Grandchildren

I promised myself I wouldn't cry when my son and daughter-in-law took my 1-year-old granddaughter back to LA after a magical two week visit. I swore up and down I wouldn't be one of those guilt-inducing grandmothers who can't let go. I broke my promise. Saying goodbye to that precious 15 lb. bundle of everything good in the world was so heartbreaking that I wrote a poem. I don't write poetry. Ever. For any reason. So, if your stomach roils at amateur verse, read no further. But if you, too, suffer from grandchild deprivation and you are not a literary snob, feel free to insert your grandchildren's names, change details to personalize it, and share it with them. Or not.

Kyla's four grandparents live far away,
They live on the opposite coast.
Everyone misses the baby each day,
But her grandmothers miss her the most.

Hollywood called Kyla's Daddy away,
And soon Mommy followed his lead.
They liked it out West and decided to stay,
And then they decided to breed.

America sits between two giant seas;
On the East the Atlantic runs deep,
And hundreds and hundreds of miles to the West,
The Pacific sings Kyla to sleep.

The distance between the two oceans is wide,
With mountaintops frosted with snow.
And deserts so hot that your tongue might get fried,
And there's flatland where vegetables grow.

Kyla's four grandparents must have a plan
When we want to visit our girl,
We can't simply hop in a car or a van,
Or dust off the truck for a whirl.

Driving to Kyla could take seven days,
Or longer in snow or in rain,
And sometimes the route has construction delays,
So it's fastest to fly in a plane.

Kyla's four grandparents three times a year
Pack presents and take to the skies,
We barely can wait to shout, "Kyla, we're here!"
And see the delight in her eyes.

Our visits are chockful of fun and surprise
And laughter and sunshine and hugs,
But when the sad moment arrives for goodbyes,
We all could just sit and eat bugs.

Kyla's four grandparents miss her as soon
As our plane touches down from above
We send her a card and a stuffed blue baboon,
But mostly we send her our love.

Do you think this poem is nothing but woe?
Don't worry! We've learned more than that!
Love doesn't freeze in the cold mountain snow,
Or trip on the ice and go, "Splat!"

Love doesn't melt on the hottest of turf.
The heat cannot turn love to toast.
Love doesn't drown in the wildest of surf,
On either the East or West Coast.

Kyla, our love doesn't need jets to fly,
It soars over glacier and bay.
The usual laws about earth don't apply.
We can kiss you from ten states away.

The love that resides in a grandparent's heart
Is not bound by time or by place.
If you lived on the moon we would not be apart,
As for Daddy, he sucks* and I don't even care if this rhymes.

*To head off comments concerning any perceived insensitivity to my family's feelings, rest assured all is disclosed in advance of publication. My son has a healthy sense of humor and can take a joke.