My in-laws bought us a web-cam a while ago, but every time we tried to use Skype with them, we have technical difficulties for some reason. Then my dad got my mom one for Christmas. At first she was unconvinced she’d like this “gadget” that she’d probably never figure out how to use.
That changed the first time we were able to see and talk to each other over the computer. I don’t know if my parents’ computer is faster or just if their webcam is less buggy, but we had no problems. Pretty soon we got into a rhythm of talking a few times a week, and my boys LOVE it.
What made this even more awesome was when my parents and grandparents came to visit us in early February. Every parent knows that the period around 18 months is the worst time for separation anxiety for kids—they sometimes won’t even go to the parent they know less well, let alone extended family members or people who, to them, are strangers. This is made even worse by their short memories. If a young child hasn’t seen someone in a month or more, it’s as if they never met.
Contrast these expectations with what actually happened when our company walked in the door. The minute Duplo saw his grandma, he veritably leapt from my arms and into hers, saying, “Mammaw!” (rhymes with “grandma”) in a completely surprised and completely excited tone of voice. The two of them made fast friends, and he seemed a little lost when she left.
After that, he’s more excited about Skype, if anything. When he sees me get on the computer, he often asks for “Mammaw Gype!” Often enough I can comply.
It’s amazing to me to live in a time where people who live 500 miles away from each other can see into each others’ homes and talk “face to face.” It’s amazing to me that a child who hasn’t seen his grandma in person in two and a half months can instantly recognize and love her.
My dad bought me a new and better webcam for my mom’s birthday (because really, seeing us more clearly is more beneficial for her than it is for us) and bought another one for my Granny and Grampy. I sent our old one to my sister, Kenneren. Now we can talk on “Gype” with all of them. Unfortunately, we still haven’t worked out the bugs with my in-laws. It makes me sad because I see how close the kids could be to them if we could just get the danged thing working better.
In the meantime, Lego, Duplo, and I will love talking to the people we love on “Gype.”