NYC: Time with Lu…but only a Skype Call with T

April 19th, 2010

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20100404_NYC_003Phone, skype, email…they’re a tough way to keep in touch with the family. The instantaneous nature of the communication is wonderful, but in a way it can also reinforce the distance as the immediacy is almost, but not quite, there. Lu and I talk regularly, but since she only has T part time, my contact with him is greatly diminished. It is tough, because he’s learning and growing and, guess what, I’m missing it. Lu had to buy him new pants the other day, he’s grown that much. (at right: an easter display at Dewey’s candy shop, a favorite hangout for the folks at the office–one of them is even getting a ‘friend’ discount these days)

It’s unfortunate that we can’t bring him out to the city, especially to the American Museum of Natural History, where I’ve got an inside connection, but he’s not allowed to miss any more days in Seattle Public School. Lu and I do not agree with this judgment, especially considering the educational opportunities he could have here on a long weekend, but we are only two of a three-person parenting team. And it’s tough to hear him ask why Lu gets to see me and he doesn’t. Recently, after we counted out the days until I return “forever,” he asked Lu if he could visit me every weekend until I came back. She explained to him the distance and the time difference. He paused for a moment, then asked if he could just come stay with me until it was time to go home. I can’t help but smile, one of those proud and flattered smiles, but it is tinged with sadness as I rationalize why I’m here and he’s there. Yes, I am the adult and I made the choice to leave.

20100404_NYC_056Lu, on the other hand, is restricted only by parenting responsibilities, her thesis, and the finances, which affect both of us. So when T had his spring break (we had him for winter break), Lu came for a long weekend to do some thesis work at the office and spend some time with me. It was wonderful. I could make her coffee and breakfast again. I had a companion on the subway ride to work. She joined everyone at the center table for lunch. We went for evening walks around the city–one evening we chased happy hour from DUMBO across the Brooklyn Bridge nearly to midtown. But we never had a happy hour drink, as we were too distracted by everything else. (at right: catching the sunset from the Brooklyn Bridge)

Then went climbing in the Gunks with my co-worker Jessica and her partner Tony, who also set us up with a tent and sleeping bags–and great company. New York, and the Gunks, was our first travel date, and it was great to do it again. Maybe, sometime in the not too distant future, T will also be able to travel out here; to go climbing, get some pizza, and visit the museum.

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