Recently we had the privilege of hosting our dear grandchildren for a week. Because of COVID and the fact that they live far away, we had not seen them for 18 months. The very first thing we did after getting our second COVID shots was to call our daughter and see if we could bring them here for spring break. Ah, the benefits of vaccination!

Sasha, Jaden, Christina, Ann and Vivi

Sasha, Jaden, Christina, Ann and Vivi, photo by Nicole Luce

There are so many memories from our recent week together: The joy of watching them play with the young dog they had never met as a puppy. . . their familiarity with rhythms from years past like planting peas . . . the fun of board games on rainy days . . .growing skill at helping in the kitchen . . . and their deepening ability to articulate themselves during morning check-ins.

Photos in collage below

In many ways it was not so different from previous years. Well, Jaden is now old enough to be driving us around! And Sasha is now old enough to sleep in her own bedroom. But the thing that struck me the most about being with them this time is their resilience.

Since COVID cancelled our annual spring break visit in 2020, they have had a year of school entirely on ZOOM. The vast majority of their time has been spent in a two-bedroom apartment or running errands with their dear parents. They have had very limited access to friends. And once our daughter found a new job which took her away from home, the two of them had to learn to take care of each other at a whole other level.

I am so impressed with both of them! What I see is how this past year has matured them—made them stronger and better versions of the selves they have always been. This, of course, is certainly a tribute to the fine job their parents are doing and the closeness of their family unit. But it also speaks to how adversity can grow our souls.

A lot is being written about “the lost year” of COVID for young people. I know there have been huge losses and challenges. But what I see in our grandchildren is strength and resilience. I am defining resilience as an ability to recover and grow from adversity. This is a skill that will stead them well.

None of us knows what the future holds for our beloved children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family friends, and neighbor kids. We wish we could have a crystal ball that told us what is coming so we could help prepare them to create the world they want. But we don’t. We must simply love, encourage, and support them to the best of our abilities and resources. And then we must step back and trust their incredible youthful spirits.

I trust Sasha and Jaden’s spirits even more after this recent visit. May I have the privilege of being with them for many years to come.

Morning wakeup and conversations

With Jaden as my ally I am SAFE!

Neighborhood work party with Sarah

Jaden at the wheel

Playing at the beach

Wrestling on the floor with Vivi

Ann and Sasha baking

Writing our note in the bottle

Inserting note into the bottle and sealing with beeswax

Football player Jaden getting ready to throw the bottle into the outgoing tide on a very chilly morning

Many games of UNO

Sasha planting peas


38 replies
  1. Sharry
    Sharry says:

    Hi Ann! Going through Helen’s things this year, I have seen the lovely Christmas postcard for each year of their growth. Mom so appreciated that card year to year.
    All the best until you see each other once again. Much love,

    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      Bless you on the important journey of remembering. You hold an important piece of family history and to see you honoring it in this way means a lot to me.

  2. mary mcleod
    mary mcleod says:

    So happy for you all. After a year, we had our two granddaughters visit during their Spring break this past week. So grateful for being fully vaccinated and able to reconnect. We had trail walks and our games of UNO, quiddler and favorite card games.♥️♥️

    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      I think many of us grandparents are welcoming spring by reuniting with our grandchildren. Such joy in such a joyous season!

  3. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    Lovely post, Ann. So happy for
    all of you!! And what a gift those two grandkids are to our world. Brings me
    a measure of comfort. 🧡

    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      And well you know the promise and hope of young people, my friend. Your teaching gives you ready access to that—as well, of course, to the inevitable frustrations. Bless your good work in the world!

  4. Marjeta
    Marjeta says:

    Thank you for sharing these simple, yet vital and precious moments of connection across generations. This is what life is all about – deep presence to one another, and to the mystery of life …
    I imagine Jaden and Sasha will remember these times spent with the two of you as deeply nourishing, grounding, connecting.

    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      Good to hear a friend’s voice from across “the pond”. When I think back to my own yearly rendezvous with grandparents, the memories remain strong more than a half century later. I am so grateful for those memories and know Jaden and Sasha will be, too.

  5. Marina Lachecki
    Marina Lachecki says:

    What a lovey sharing and reflection. Yes to resilience…it is this generations digging deep within and finding how to thrive in new ways.
    Thank you for sharing this journey in word and in photos.

  6. Jeanne Petrick
    Jeanne Petrick says:

    This story warms my heart, Ann! The preciousness of it all. I can only imagine what this time held for you and Christina after such a wait. Strength and resilience for all of you – rewarded with the pure joy of being together once again. Gifts of life – that is exactly what this is. It is fun to see how much more grown up they are from the last photos. Jaden with his contagious and beautiful smile and soft spirit and Sasha with her curious eyes, while taking things into thought deeply. May your hearts enjoy the magic of that week for a long long time!

  7. Katharine Weinmann
    Katharine Weinmann says:

    What a wonderful celebration of spring – the return of the much loved family tradition, the renewal of joy, the witnessing of resilience. So happy you had the opportunity, Ann and Christina. Your joy is palpable on the page!

  8. Laura Collins
    Laura Collins says:

    Such a beautiful post! Your grandchildren have such bright spirits that it radiates even from photos. I can’t believe Jayden is driving! That went fast. Beautiful grandmas, beautiful kids, beautiful lives. Thank you for sharing 😊♥️

  9. Judy Todd
    Judy Todd says:

    Heart-opening with love…I am fortunate to have 3 ‘grans’ nearby and you have totally captured the kind of connection I stick close by for!

  10. Sandy Foreman
    Sandy Foreman says:

    These photos and captions capture the relationships you have developed over time and which 18 months of no-contact did not diminish. It is so gratifying to see a younger generation which can lead us to a better future!

  11. Bonnie Rae
    Bonnie Rae says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the title of your post. Resilience. I have seen it all around me over the past year: young people, older people and those in the middle. This has been a wonderful time for discovering what we are capable of in uncertain times. You all look so happy and engaged. That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it ? If we have that, we have everything. 


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