Being a long distance parent can be hard sometimes because you can miss a lot of your child’s day to day life, even with phone calls and virtual visitation. I was there for lots of firsts : walking, talking etc… but being away from him makes me afraid I’ll miss some of my son’s firsts.
Reading and writing are two big ‘firsts’ I don’t want to miss. Last night, even though I was thousands of miles away, I got to be there for one of those. During my virtual visitation with my son, he typed out the first words he’s ever ‘written’ for me or his father… dog, god and no.
As he carefully typed each letter with one finger pointed at the keyboard and concentration clearly written across his face, I sat in eager anticipation and there was the first word. As tears of pride welled up in my eyes, he just kept going… the second word. I cheered and told him how proud I was.. and there was the third word. Way to go, kiddo!
One of my favorite tips for long distance parents is to send a batch of ‘goody bags’ to your co-parent so that they are there when you want to give your child a treat. When I dropped him off at his dad’s house after his stay with me earlier in the year, I left a box of pre-wrapped goodies. Every now and then, I’ll tell his dad to give him one. This definitely warranted one! So his dad got one out and he got a special surprise from mommy for spelling out his words so well. And as if it were planned, it was a pack of special pencils!
He gasped with excitement and ran to sharpen one right away, even though he needed to get in bed soon. He carried the phone with him the whole way, talking about how neat the pencil was and what he was going to write with it.
I’m still glowing. I think I’ll glow forever.