I received a text message from Marc at 6:48 a.m. asking if I was free to FaceTime with Isabelle. I was available (despite needing to finish putting on my makeup, get dressed, and pack up my technology for an 8:00 a.m. presentation).
I opened the shade in my room exposing the Elizabeth River, which I could see from my hotel room. What a gorgeous day! I pressed the FaceTime button on the text message and was instantly connected with Marc and Isabelle who were in the kitchen. I learned it was slow going this morning since Marc was making Isabelle’s breakfast when I called. I talked to them for a couple of minutes, but the call kept freezing. “Poor connection” is what my iPhone told me. I hung up, disconnected from the hotel’s WiFi and tried again. More of the same. Could it be that the problem was also our home’s WiFi connection? (I didn’t even want to think of that. I don’t be bothered with home-related issues when I’m presenting at a conference.) Therefore, I texted Marc back and asked him to go onto LTE so we could FaceTime. It took a few minutes, but eventually we were back in business.
I’d like to say the call was idyllic. It wasn’t. It involved Marc reminding Isabelle to sit at the table, eat her breakfast, and drink her chocolate milk. But Isabelle had her own agenda. She wanted to see the view from my hotel room and get a tour of my room. (BTW: She loves hotels. And I mean LOVES. I think she’s destined to work in the hospitality industry when she grows up!)
I flipped the FaceTime view and showed her everything, including location where I’d be presenting. But it was 7:00 a.m. and Marc needed her to hustle since she needs to be finished with breakfast by 7:15 a.m. in order to catch the school bus. Plus, I knew I needed to get myself together so I could be out the door on the way to the convention center by 7:30 a.m. So, I wished everyone a good day, told them I loved them, and hit the end button. Sometimes you have to put the needs of other people — in this case Marc’s need to get Isabelle out the door so he wouldn’t have to drive her to school — before your own needs.
I checked Weather.com and discovered it was 74 degrees at 5:00 p.m. so I decided to take a walk down to the Elizabeth River. I changed into workout clothes and took the elevator to the ground floor of my hotel. Once I was on the street, I called my mother-in-law to determine if it would be a good time to talk to the kids. Ari had come downstairs after his afternoon nap and Isabelle was playing a game with my father-in-law in-between reading and PT exercises.
I initiated the FaceTime call and was instantly transported to the familiar surroundings of my house. I was wearing sunglasses on my walk and Ari seemed confused when he saw me. I removed my sunglasses and said, “Do you know who I am?”
He smiled and replied, “Mommy” in a voice that melted my heart.
I was excited to show him (and Isabelle) the boats that were docked. I was especially thrilled to show him the Stratsraad Lehmkul, which is a three-masted Norweigan naval ship that’s docked in Norfolk through tomorrow. Ari seemed interested for a few minutes, but lost interest when I was unable to zoom-in on the tugboats that were passing by.
Isabelle made a few appearances towards the end of the call. She mostly snapped FaceTime photos of me while we were talking. (I’m sure my mother-in-law has a whole bunch of not-so-lovely photos of me.) Just for fun, I snapped a few of her too!
Eventually, we hung up and I went on my way with the rest of my day. While I enjoy having extra time to myself while I’m away, I’ll be honest… I miss my kids.
14 thoughts on “FaceTime: The Bookends of My Work Day”
Isn’t Facetime amazing? I can remember a time when we thought the idea of video calls was completely outrageous. So glad you have this way to connect. Also, I love that Ari was confused by your sunglasses. I’d forgotten about that moment!
He rarely sees me in them since I mostly wear them in the summertime or when I’m driving (year round). I guess I looked different!
I love all the details and the highs and lows. Yes, Facetime is just magic when it’s working. I just Facetimed my daughter last night (in Shanghai) from here in India and the call kept freezing or saying poor connection and you keep losing the thread…but so much better than not having it!!
It is an amazing invention! It has made a huge difference in my traveling and feeling close to home as well.
So sweet! Love how you were able to give Isabelle and Ari a tour of the boats. I also love the part about Isabelle being destined for the hospitality industry! I used to love hotels as a kid too. Being a professional mom who travels I’m sure has its challenges. Just started reading Girl, Stop Apologizing and the central theme of the book (so far) seems to be that women are raised to be good for other people and then have guilt when they pursue something in their heart/dreams. I am glad you enjoy the time away while presenting and then also get those moments with the kids.
I like the way you started by informing us about the Elizabeth River and taking us there later, on your walk. In that sense writing is like Face-time they both allow us see what where you are.
Face-time is great, I cook with my son in university using face-time.
Bookends to your day – love this thought and phrase. This not only helps you it’s helping them having time without you. Great idea.
When my my sister decided to quit her job as a university dean to stay home with her two kids, that meant moving across the country. I visited a few times, remember going to the blueberry farm/orchard with them; the older one stuffed those berries into his mouth while the younger one was still to little to walk or talk. Over the months that followed, we’d Facetime over a small bowl of blueberries during his snack time. Loved hearing through the speaker: “Aunt Sarah?”
Thanks for sharing this moment. Glad you were able to go on a warm walk.
Oh but it is SO much better that they can see and talk to you even if you are away.Not that long ago, it was the phone in the hotel room! Yikes!
Love the bookends! FaceTime makes being away from my grandson bearable. I’m always glad to see and hear little snippets of your kids. They are both amazing.
It’s great what technology can do for us to keep us connected to our people. Hope the conference and presentations went well.
I love the descriptions in this piece! I laughed when you took off your sunglasses and Ari said “Mommy in a voice that melted my heart.” That was my favorite part and the fact that you miss your kids like crazy, even if you are only away for a day or two. Your family stories are the best, Stacey.
What a beautiful use of technology. The bookends of your day talking to them. Nice.
FaceTime is so great for connecting. My son has 7 grandparents, and none of them live closer than 500 miles away. But FaceTime means he knows their faces and voices and names and houses, and remembers them in between visits.