I won’t say who, but I had a boyfriend once, a long time ago, who asked me NOT to call him from abroad. I was planning to be away for four months. I was baffled by this request. The whole time I wondered if he was trying to scrub me from his mind completely. Really he was trying to avoid the pain of hearing my voice so briefly, with delays and static. He would rather keep to silent letter writing than struggle through stilted or hurried updates and obligatory I love yous. So, we didn’t talk. And the relationship cooled. (Thanks to the beauty of Facebook, we’ve become friends again after a long pause.)
So I’m Skyping with my husband. It’s bittersweet. Our daughter’s face lights up when she hears the simulated phone ring and digital chimes of a successful connection—maybe, just maybe, her saying Dadadadada means Daddy—then she nearly breaks glass with her shrieks of delight when Daddy comes into view on the laptop.
We took Daddy to JFK airport yesterday for his 10-day trip. I agreed to chauffeur him because the journey was perfectly timed with our baby’s nap. He of course wanted to open the door at curbside check-in and kiss her goodbye. Precious angel slept right through his tender kiss, admiring gaze, and whispered sweetnothings, not to mention the blast of frigid (and fume-filled) New York air. It touches me so to see them play and cuddle and relate. I should strap the camera around my neck and leave it there.
Because, one day she’ll notice that Daddy works long hours and is quite tired come Friday night, and maybe even wish he were more available, but right now, when they’re together, she’s all he sees and he’s all she sees. She looks for him around corners, and giggles with pleasure when she hears his footsteps coming up from the study.
Wouldn’t trade this for anything! We’ll keep Skyping and keep saying goodbye a thousand times. It’s better than the last 20 years without videophone.