Keeping in Touch Long-Distance

Well, we made it to the booksale on Saturday and Mika’s mommy found some books for her and we all found books for ourselves.  Was there any doubt? 

While the rest of them continued their sale browsing, I took the opportunity to do some storytime reading to little Mika in the quite attractive children’s section of the Friendswood Public Library.  She certainly loves to be read to. 

Although storytime went a lot smoother when Laura stopped by and pointed out the comfy glider rocker across the room.  Mika and I hightailed it over there and it was a much easier set up for snuggling and reading stories.  In fact, if the guys hadn’t shown up shortly afterwards ready to go eat, I would have been quite content to stay in that rocker snuggling with Mika and reading to her for hours.

But all good things must come to an end. Thus our time in Texas also ended and we had to say goodbye to Jason, Laura, and little Mika and head for home.  Oh my, that was difficult.  They will soon be moving halfway around the world and I won’t be able to just pick up the phone to talk to them or hop on a plane to celebrate special times together.  The challenge is going to be keeping in touch with so many miles separating us. 

I’m not so worried about maintaining a long-distance relationship with Jason and Laura.  They’re grown and understand their place in our family and our hearts.  But little Mika is another story.  I worry that she will forget me and will also miss out on so many wonderful times that a child and her grandparents can have together or that she’ll develop attachments to strangers living close to her and I’ll be the one missing out on those special times.  Frankly, it’s heartbreaking to consider either way.  So I find myself wondering what strategies I’ll be employing to stay in touch.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1.  Skype – the free internet-based calling system has been a lifesaver when our kids were living in Vancouver.  We could use the cameras on our computers and even see each other as we spoke.  Of course, half the time, the video was terrible with pixels running amuck but it was better than nothing. 

2.  Email – It’s an old standby but I will surely be using it.  I’ve already told Jason and Laura that I really hope they’ll get themselves set up for internet access.  Being able to hear from them via email (since mail service will be pretty spotty where they are going) will be a godsend.

3.  Facebook – The beauty of Facebook is that the status updates and messages can be almost real-time.  Plus you can post pictures and short videos.  I know other grown children who have communicated successfully with their parents via Facebook while living overseas so I’m hoping we can do the same.

4.  YouTube – This might be a bit optimistic but I’m hoping that they can at least upload short video clips of Mika doing cute things onto YouTube via an internet cafe, if they are unable to access a fast enough browser from their home.  We will be able to load short videos for Mika from our end using our Flip movie camera and maybe even squeeze in some short storytimes for her on camera. 

5.  Personalized Books – I do a lot of digital scrapbooking as well as creative writing.  I’m hoping to make little storybooks for Mika featuring members of our family, including Nana, PawPaw, and Aunt Laura and Uncle Jason, as well as Fresca, the Wonder Dog.  I figure I’ll try mailing one little book to their new home and see if it makes it there safely.  If it doesn’t, I still have the capability via the Creative Memories Photo Center, to upload and store my storybooks on their website so that Mika’s parents will be able to go online and view the books there, if need be.  But hopefully, they will be able to receive the books firsthand and read them to Mika again and again so that she can see us all and remember our faces.

6.  Visits – This last option is one that we won’t be able to do very often because it involves so much time, distance, and cost but we do want to go to see them at least once while they are living overseas. 

What are some ways that you keep in touch with loved ones who live far from you?

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Mom, something that my grandparents used to do when we were living in Mexico was to make tape recordings of themselves reading stories to us. It was almost like having Grandma and Grandpa sitting next to us reading a book. With the coming of the digital age, you’d now be able to read stories and email the files to Mika on the same day – and she would LOVE your voices and dramatization of the story. 🙂

  • That last picture of Mika is adorable! What a cute little girl.

    You know I know what you are going through, Dee. We need to be brave and focus on the future…eternity together.

    I love your idea of making books for your little one….it is those relationships that I fear losing… a story/photo book sounds like a wonderful idea. I will probably use that idea, if you don’t mind.

    Praying for you – I know how hard it was to say goodbye.

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