What has stopped us from being the loving son or daughter, the always by-your-side brother or sister, or the cry-on-my-shoulder best friend? In my case, and maybe yours as well, it is not desire or the capacity to show affection. No, it boils down to nothing more than distance, those physical spaces separating you from the people you love, admire and hold dear.
When you start a family those gaps can become Grand Canyon-esque, at least once the new baby visits fade away and the parade of sleepless nights turn you into an incommunicable zombie. Ideally though, the growth of your family tree would narrow the relationships with grandparents and see cousins frolicking in some cinematic meadow every fortnight, but alas, that’s almost never the case outside of a Hollywood screenplay.
We are fortunate to be alive in a modern age where time zones are nothing, technology is king, and what can happen in a movie, can in fact happen. My daughters cannot always be playing at the feet of their grandparents, no matter how much both parties would enjoy exactly that, but when we have a Skype call with them in our living room for Science Sunday experiments or for a quick weeknight storytime, the 42 miles of highway that keeps us apart becomes a fiction.
And when I want to keep my peers and pals from the kindie music world close, a quick Skype chat on my tablet or laptop to debate the best songs of the year or to hear brand new tracks being laid down by one of the scene’s brightest stars are opportunities that are as effortless as they are grand.
The future we dreamed of as little kids is all around us, right now, and is very real and easy to navigate. That idyllic sun soaked patch of perfectly manicured grass is ever-present with Skype, allowing opposite coast friends and out-of-state family to bond over a cup of tea, chit chat about a recent vacation, and share laughs, stories and special moments of lives lived apart on a map but those which are thankfully as connected as ever.
Jeff is a stay-at-home dad, a husband, and writes about parenting and the indie kids’ music scene. Find more of his work at Out With the Kids.