Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Distance?

Did you know that it takes only ONE SECOND to get from NY to FL these days?!

No, really; I witnessed it on Sunday. The most amazing baby boy reached his first birthday - in FL. And Grandma Linda and Grandpa John were present - in NY!

You may be asking, "How can this be?"

It's called SKYPE!

And although it doesn't allow for squeezes, kisses and other tactile communication, it DOES allow the baby boy to know that his NY grandparents are very much present and involved. Their "grandparental doting" flowed like a river through the computer screen.

Even with only twelve months of living under his belt, Spencer felt it. He kept crawling toward the screen making big eyes and flashing that heart-stopping smile of his. (John and Joy skype with John and Linda regularly. Technology, such a gift!)

But Sunday was extra special. Grandma Linda went all out creating their own little party scene in the NY dining room where she and Grandpa sat with the computer on the table. They each wore a great party hat, there was a cupcake with a candle, and even a huge banner declaring "Happy Birthday!" to serve as their backdrop.

What a Grandma!

I stood back in the crowd of family and friends who pressed into Joy and John's dining room watching Spencer dive into his personal birthday cake. (Linda and John "sat" on the front row via laptop.)

Spencer first looked puzzled at being allowed to smash the squishy frosting with his pudgy little hands.
He looked up at John - "Dad's smiling."
Then at Joy - "Mom's smiling and nodding."
Then his own hands - "I'm going for it!!"

We all hooted and howled as he wasted no time showing that cake who was boss!

And I thanked the Lord that Linda and John had refused to let 1000 miles keep them from being "present" for the festivities. I know of parents, grandparents, siblings, family members of all makes and models who won't drive across town to visit one another.

"If they want to see me, they know where I live." How selfish and foolish!

We cost ourselves so much joy when we refuse to look outside the box for opportunities to connect. Martha Anderson (lifetime friend) modeled long-distance love for me as a young mom. And she taught this student valuable lessons.

It takes effort. It won't look like you may have expected. Keep an open mind. Don't get offended. Keep working at it. Utilize pictures, mail, phone calls, whatever is available. Just stay in touch!

Simple Genius.

My parents and Frank's parents lived hundreds of miles from us through the years. But Martha's homespun wisdom helped our children know and love those grandparents just as if they'd grown up in their backyards.

The same is proving true for Spencer.

"Ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from gettin' to you, Babe!"

Maybe Linda's efforts can encourage some of you to drive across town; make a phone call; send an email to that special someone. It matters, believe me!

PS - Spencer goes to Shriner's hospital on Thursday for his first hand surgery. We would greatly appreciate any and all of you who could be "present" with us in prayer. Thanks in advance!