Sunday, 16 October 2011

Long-distance walk

My in-laws live in Vancouver. (For some people, having their in-laws thousands of miles away would be a blessing. As it turns out, my in-laws are wonderful and loving people whom I'd love to have living a lot closer.) My husband is very close to his parents and I know he regrets that his move to Ottawa following university took him so far away from them. To bridge the distance, we spend a lot of time talking on the telephone, e-mailing photos and videos, and videoconferencing.

My mom emigrated to Canada from Europe all by herself as a young adult. She hadn't planned to stay permanently but she met and married my dad and more than 40 years later she's still here. Growing up, I remember her writing a letter to her parents every week, full of the details of our lives. On very special occasions, there would be an expensive long distance call. I remember my mom's excitement about these calls, but also that she always seemed a little sad when the call was over. I know she wishes we could have had closer ties to her family while growing up.

This week, 11 month old Chloe took her first steps.  Chloe and Jeff were playing in the living room and videoconferencing with Grampy using our little netbook.  Chloe was standing with Daddy when Grampy held out his arms to her on the screen and encouraged her to walk to him.  And Chloe took 2 little steps from our living room straight to her Grampy, thousands of miles away.

Chloe hasn't taken any more steps since then.  Maybe walking to Vancouver was a little exhausting.

Chloe stands, but isn't ready to take any steps on her own yet.


  1. Aw, that is an adorable story! We also have long-distance grandparents - Toronto area, so drivable and we can see them a few times a year, but far enough that phone calls and emails are essential. I love the thought that Chloe is close to her grandparents even while not being physically close by - it's so reassuring!

  2. That's awesome. It's great that technology allows long distance families to share moments that we missed out on as kids with our grandparents being an ocean away.

  3. A beautiful story- and people say technology doesn't enhance our lives. It's even more lovely to know that Grampy was able to teach baby Chloe to walk in person a few weeks later.