My mom flew to Paris from Canada a few weeks ago to be here when my son went in for his tonsillectomy. She wanted to be here for help and support, and also to make sure everything went well at the hospital. We decided to keep her arrival from the kids a surprise, and she showed up with me the afternoon she got here to pick the kids up from school. They were surprised and excited, and my three year old just kept glancing over at her and giggling all the way home from school.
We had a few days before the surgery was scheduled to take place, so we took advantage of them by heading out into the city with the kids to have some fun. They loved showing Grandma their favourite parks and they had a blast baking cookies to enjoy before my son had his surgery. She wasn't here for my son's birthday in February, so she took him (and the younger one) to a toy store and bought them each a gift. I now have a mini table soccer game sitting in my living room, along with a dump truck and tractor!
It wasn't all fun and games, though. My son's surgery went well, but he needed to spend two nights in the hospital since his fever wouldn't break, and my mom took care of my youngest while I was at the hospital. My little guy came down with a massive fever and an infection at the same time, so she was dealing with illness at home while my husband and I were dealing with illness at the hospital! Once my son came home, we spent a good week waiting for both of them to recuperate before heading back out again for some fun before Grandma's stay was over.
The best part for my kids was the one on one time they got to spend with their Grandma. Typically visits are busy and full of sightseeing and a packed house, but this time there wasn't much on the agenda and my mom was here alone and able to give them her full attention. They read books, baked pie, sang songs, went for walks and out for lunch, played soccer in the park, and even went bowling. For me, it was a great visit with my mom with ample time to just catch up and spend time together. For my kids it was a chance for them to spend uninterrupted one on one time with her.
Yesterday we celebrated Mother's day with her, which was special since we didn't get to do that in person with her last year. My son gave her one of his paintings, which I think was her favourite gift of all. She put both the boys to bed last night, and then set the alarm for an early morning departure this morning. I wasn't sure if the kids would be up at six, but they both got up to say goodbye.
It's always tough to say goodbye to my mom when a visit is over, because I know that it will be a few months at least before we're together again. Still, I'm so grateful that we've been lucky enough to have the means to see our family in Canada at least once, if not twice a year. Being away from loved ones is probably the hardest part of living overseas, so I am always thankful for the time we get to spend together.