Ah, Sunday morning.
Part of me always thinks to myself, "Time to talk to Mom and Dad!"
That's how it went. Back in the day. Every Sunday morning at 11:00 my parents called. It started when I went away to college. We had a phone date, I guess you could say. Sunday morning at 11:00 CST was our time together. We've not lived in the same city since I trotted off to Madison in 1972, so we had this date for many, many years.
"Don't talk TOO long; it's long distance, remember!"
I found it best if I put together a list of topics I wanted to be sure to cover.
"I got a B on the Journalism paper I wrote; Judy and I saw 'Metropolis' last night"... and then later, "Abbie loves her new teacher and made a new friend at school today."
Of course, we saw my parents fairly frequently. There was lots of travel back and forth. In between visits, there were 4" x 6" pictures exchanged via postal service and there were those VHS video tapes Eddie and I made of our children's first baths, first smiles and first steps. We'd pack the unedited, way-too-long video tapes in our suitcase to show our families next time we went home to visit.
I always thought our video tapes were far superior to the old Super 8 movies my parents used to make. It seemed to me that a lot of time was spent simply waving into the camera. "Look, Freda, the camera is on you now. Wave hello!" My grandmother would squint her eyes, shade them from the sun (or the bright lights my Dad would strap to the camera for indoor shots) with one hand and wave gleefully with the other. We did that, too, in the beginning, "Abbie, look at the lens of the camera and say hi to Pawpaw! That's right, wave hello!" But we got pretty sophisticated after a while and were soon making stop action videos of Max scooting around the living room on his bottom, pretending to drive a red Ferarri. We couldn't wait to share these with Bubbie, Zayde, Neetz and Pawpaw - the grandparents.
So now Eddie and I are the grandparents.
The hi-tech opportunities for long distant grandparents are endless now. We got this photo of Henry's first bath fresh from Abbie's blog, not too long after she had dried the boy off.
And we have Skype! We "skyped" (a new verb?) with six-week-old baby Henry just the other night. He stared at Abbie's computer monitor in New Orleans while Eddie and I made funny faces, held up a dancing teddy bear and well, waved hello from Kansas City.
(I remember trying out the futuristic television/telephones at a World's Fair when I was a little girl, and my mom saying, "these will be fine. just so long as I don't get a call when I have my bath robe on.")
IPhones, Skype, text messages, Facebook, Flip Cameras, YouTube, Twitter and blogs have changed the way we all communicate with one another. Our CNN mentality makes us want the full scoop as soon as anything happens, or more accurately, while it happens.
This is very cool for us long distance grandparents.
It means we can get up-to-the-minute coverage of our grandchild's comings and goings. In stills and in video.
Henry makes his video debut here. Abbie sent this 46 second clip to me the other day via email when I was not feeling well and needed some cheering up. Henry is lying on the floor being a baby. Not much action or dialogue. No special effects.
I have watched it at least twenty-five times now. Best movie I've seen in a long time.
Wait. Did you see that? I think he was trying to wave hello.