Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
My husband, Louis, and I are no strangers to long-distance. We met when he lived in England and I lived in the U.S., which could be a 5 to 7 hour time difference depending on what coast I was on. Until he could get his green card, he flew back and forth several times to spend as much time with me during our pregnancy, and then with our daughter. Now that he has a green card, we are thrilled that we don’t have to worry about the distance anymore. But what about his family that is still in England? Does Hallie, our daughter, know these people from miles away? She most certainly does.
Technology is Amazing
My mother-in-law jokes that she talks to Louis now more than she used to when he lived at home. Perhaps distance makes the heart grow fonder, but we find time to call our family in England on a regular basis. Hallie is very familiar with the FaceTime or WhatsApp dial tone, and comes rushing to the phone the second someone calls. Hallie knows exactly who her Nanny and Grand-dad are, and loves talking to her aunts, uncles, and cousins across the pond.
Communication Takes Dedication
Of course, Hallie did not come by this naturally, and it does take effort. We’re always having to consider the time difference, and Hallie is growing up understanding that some of her family isn’t here with her. We call often to show Hallie faces that she will learn to recognize more clearly, especially as she gets older. At only two months old Hallie was already accustomed to one of her aunts over the phone, and when we flew to England, Hallie was very comfortable being rocked to sleep by her in person. Now, Hallie will often take her Nanny for a tour of our house, babbling as she walks around, and will cry when I insist on taking the phone and saying “goodbye”.
And who doesn’t love a care package? (Side note: Louis thinks it is super weird that we say “package” in the U.S., insisting that it sounds creepy. They say “parcel” in England). We are often trading gifts and treats that are native to our respective countries, especially since Louis is usually whining about all the sweets that he misses. Hallie also gets presents like books and clothes in the mail, and as she gets older, sending and receiving “parcels” will truly be something she looks forward to.
There is a real connection between Hallie and her family in England, and Hallie will never think anything odd of it. Louis and I fell in love before we even met in person, and I grew to love his family as well, despite being miles apart. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to build relationships, regardless of where you are in the world, and kids are savvy. I can’t wait to visit with Louis’ family in person the next time, and I am already excited for Hallie’s reaction when she sees people that are usually on a screen.
It’s so reassuring to me that regardless of where we are in the world, we know we’re loved. We know we’re supported, and distance means nothing.