Virtual Quality Time. Oh the joys of living abroad! We really want to spend time online with our families, but life gets busy and with work, daily chores, naptimes, and pesky time zones to contend with, sometimes it is really hard to get decent time in with all of our loved ones. Most of our friends over here only have family from the States, but we have to consider three very different time zones, with South Africa 6 hours behind us, and Texas a whole 13 hours behind China. Often times there is only about an hour or two a day where our time differences allow for us to call home. That means that if we get busy at all, that opportunity to call home is gone. This happens for days and days at a time. I’m ashamed to admit, that sometimes even weeks go by and we don’t video chat at all. Of course, we have only good intentions and we want to call those that we love as much as we can, but just trying to call our parents on a regular basis is challenging. I won’t even go into all the internet problems that we face over here – those just make these matters even more difficult for us.
This morning I called “Grams” so that Elijah could say hello while he ate his bowl of cereal for breakfast. Mornings are the best for calling Texas (which means we talk to them “in the evening before”) and early evenings are the best time to call South Africa (since that is when they are awake and Elijah is up from his nap). What did I tell you – Pretty complicated! During our call this morning, I ended up placing Grams on the coffee table while Elijah played. As I have mentioned before, Eli likes to sit in a box/ drawer while he plays, watches Tv, or eats a snack (often doing all three of these at once) – Boxed In. This morning, while he unpacked his drawers, climbed inside one of them, and then played with his toys, Grams was able to spend some quality time with him. He kept taking the phone and holding Grams in his hands while she spoke to him. A minute later he would place the phone back on the coffee table, perfectly upright, so that the camera faced him. I was amazed that he knew how the camera worked and that he had to keep the screen facing him. He gave the phone big slobbery smooches every time Grams asked for a kiss. It was adorable!
There were some hilarious moments too. Like when the phone fell down and Grams couldn’t see Eli anymore but he was too busy playing to notice. I was in the dining room making coffee when I heard, “Eli, help Grams, I’ve fallen”.
Oh wow… we had a good laugh after that!
Of course, we would much rather spend our quality time together in the same room, but since we can’t for now, I am really grateful for this virtual quality time! Sometimes I get a little sad that our parents don’t get to spend time with Elijah on a regular basis, but the truth is that no matter where we live, someone will always be far away. This is just part of the life we live since we were born on opposite sides of the world. Technology and the internet are such a big part of our lives, and we are thankful for what it allows us to do.