Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Video Chat

Last night, I went into my son's bedroom to say good-night. He looked up when I was at his door and pointed to his computer screen. From the panic in his eyes I knew something was up. He was video chatting with one of his dear friends at college. I quickly understood. It wasn't that he didn't want me to overhear his conversation. He didn't want me to embarrass myself, or him, if I mistakenly walked in front of the camera and his unsuspecting friend got a vision of me in my lovely pajamas. Not a pretty sight these days. I stood at the door way and mouthed the words good-night.

I climbed back into bed and began to think about Kyle and me video chatting when he will be at college two short years from now. Instantly, I got that awful pit in my stomach. Sure, it will be great to see his smiling face when he is hundreds of miles away. But the thought of seeing him only through the filter of a camera lens on a computer screen seems so cold and distant. I am certain that it will make the separation feel even more unbearable for me.

A few minutes later he popped his head in to say good-night. I normally would follow him back into his room, and we would talk about the day for a moment or two. This old ritual has become one of my favorites, but last night I was just too tired. I hated myself for being too tired. How many more nights did I have to kiss his sweet forehead good night and just talk for a moment before he drifted off to sleep? I need to take advantage of every one. I needed to continue to "tuck him in."

I asked his permission to write about him video chatting in my BLOG. He gave me the A OK and then I asked if he missed his college friends less because he was able to see them via that tiny little camera in his computer.

"Yes," he smiled. "It's like they are two feet away, but we're not going to video chat when I go off to college." It was as if he could read my mind.

My heart sank. He thought video chatting was only for his generation. Us video chatting was breaking some sacred code.

Then he smiled an even bigger smile and said wisely, "They'll be some other technology that will make it feel like I am in the room with you."

I always love to one up Kyle. He has a great personality but I so enjoy teasing him. "Darn straight, it will feel like I am in the room with you," I quipped, " 'cause I really will be in the room with you."

He gave me a kiss and turned to go back to his room.

Poor Kyle, I thought. I am not making this separation any easier for him. Soon, I am going to have to get over my self pitying, overemotional, indulgent thinking and begin to get excited for him.

I hope I have the grace to at least do that.

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