As the world we live in continues to shrink, there are two inevitable realities regarding family life in Naperville. Reality #1 is that the Fall months will be full of Saturday soccer and football games. Reality #2 is try as we might, unwelcome conflicts with business travel schedules will eventually arise in the often heart-wrenching balance between kid’s activities and livelihood.
The good news is mobile technology has vastly improved our ability to shorten the distance between parents and kids when it comes to those occasional conflicts between business travel and kid’s activities. More specifically, for me, the iPhone has enabled me to exercise a little creativity and ingenuity in what I call “mobilecasting” our kid’s sports Saturdays when my wife is out-of-town on business.
Mobilecasting is a combination of up-to-the-minute texting along with periodic email video clips before, during and after the game to my wife’s phone. To me the fun part is turning loose my inner-sportscaster to provide plenty of light-hearted commentary to properly capture the priceless moments that can only be produced by a soccer team full of 5 year-olds and a football team “teaming” with 8 year-olds.
In turn, she is also able to text messages back to the boys after the game and, eventually, when she finally musters the courage to use her iPhone camera she can send video messages back. Does it fully replace the classic memories that can only come from being there? Is it a travesty that as parents we sometimes find ourselves out-of-town on business over the weekends?… absolutely. But when business travel is required mobilecasting is almost like being there… almost.
How easy it is for us to beat ourselves up over being away from home and how easy it is for others to judge us for our absence from our families. However, we must always keep in mind that here in 2009 our children were born into this world as “digital immigrants” with an ever-growing experimental curiosity about how we use technology to stay connected with each other… so live smart parents and cherish these days to their fullest… even if you are 2,000 miles away!