GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 7

travel

Expat grandson's first encounter
with American wildlife
BY SANDY BORNSTEIN

A

s I looked through a glass window at our newborn grandson in a Mumbai hospital nursery, I was uncertain how our
long distance grandparent relationship would develop.
While I realized that married adult children oftentimes live far
from their parents' home, living almost 10,000 miles away seemed
like a totally different scenario. FaceTime and Skype would allow
us to see some of our grandson's milestones in real time, but
these fleeting glimpses would never compare to frequent faceto-face visits. The hugs, kisses, and together time would be delegated to set times that were few and far between.
While a great distance or an expat scenario may minimize the
number of occasions when grandparents can physically be with
their children and grandchildren, it shouldn't affect the overall
quality of the relationship. In fact, well-planned get-togethers will
strengthen family ties, especially when concerted efforts are made
to take advantage of the limited time together. A multigenerational vacation offers a more intense encounter than a couple of
hours a few times a month.
After our first intergenerational trip to Goa, India, I began
planning our next vacation. Our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were coming to the United States in the fall. They would
be dividing their time between suburban Chicago to see the
extended family, including great-grandparents, and an additional
week in Colorado. Most of our time in Chicago would be with
family and friends. However, I was put in charge of planning two
half-day outings. I had to select age appropriate activities that
would maintain our grandson's interest.
With our grandson's limited attention span and a love of

7 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2018

"

"

Our grandson was hooked on the
aquarium experience and loved
everything that moved in the tanks.

A day with our grandson and his parents at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium
animals, I knew that the Chicago's Shedd Aquarium would be a
big hit. He stood right against the clear partitions and was mesmerized. He pointed at his favorite fish and sea mammals, vocalized a few oohs and ahs, and clapped his hands. I didn't have to
worry about a fussy grandchild. With an occasional sip of water
and a small snack, he remained content for hours. Our grandson

was hooked on the aquarium experience and loved everything
that moved in the tanks.
After observing his reaction to the aquarium, we decided the
next morning to drive north to Lambs Farm in Libertyville. When
our four sons were growing up in nearby Northbrook, we occasionally took them to this unique petting zoo. Back in the 1960s,
Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018

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