Monday, October 08, 2007

Chatting

When I was growing up my mother worked full time for a small medical practice. She commuted to work maybe 15 or 20 miles one way everyday. She would drop my siblings and me off at the school crosswalk on her way to the office. We wouldn't see her again until 5:30 that night. One of the highlights of her day was her lunch hour, but not for the reasons most of like an hour away from our desks. My mother got to have lunch with her mother everyday. My grandmother always made something special and delicious for her, and she and my mom would have their time together. I have to admit I've always been a little envious that they had that opportunity to be together, because my mother and I only see each other once a year. It's one of the reasons that Roger and I are trying to sell our house to get back to California, so I can see her more often.
In the meantime, my mother celebrated her 82nd birthday on September 25th. My twin brother flew down from Santa Cruz to Orange County to spend a few days with her. My sister and the kids drove down for the occasion. I really wished I could've been there, but I don't fly, and 1300 miles is quite a distance to travel for a long weekend. In fact, it's really impossible, unless you're in your 20s and don't mind driving non-stop with friends for over 20 hours. It's been done, I know, I've done it! Older and wiser, I had another plan to try to join them at least virtually. I called my sister and suggested that she buy and bring a webcam down for our mother's laptop. (Did I ever tell you that my mom is very cool, has high speed internet, and reads Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo everyday? She has also just started watching YouTube videos of Big Band music, her favorite.)
My sister thought the webcam was a great idea, and so a unique birthday celebration was planned. I did get to see my mother on her birthday. And except for a cranky computer and few glitches, we are seeing each other everyday. She loves the webcam so much, she bought a new laptop with a built-in webcam, and we joined Skype. On Sunday, while we talked, she read me highlights of an LA Times book review about Arthur Schlesinger (see the first photo). We laugh so loud sometimes, we draw Roger from the office to see what's so funny. We may be looking into cameras 1300 miles apart, but I swear I'm looking right into her eyes, and it's the next best thing to being there.

It's the 21st century version of having lunch with my mother, and I'm loving it!

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