Location(s): Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California
I arrive in Los Angeles and text our dog sitter to check on Mr. Darcy. She says he is as sweet as ever and promises pictures, which warms my heart because leaving him gets tougher and tougher now that he is getting up there in dog years. David texts me to say he has landed and will call me at dinner time. I reply that I will be giving a dinner talk so that won’t work except maybe it will because aren’t we in different time zones? Nope, his conference is in Las Vegas, so we are both on PST. (I knew he was going away – thus the dog sitter – but had forgotten where, which is pretty lame since he travels so much less than I do.) I am most decidedly not in Eliza’s time zone, now there are nine hours difference between me and Ireland, but she FaceTimes me when I get to my hotel room , while she is lying in bed and I have finished a late lunch, and I get caught up in all that she is doing and how much she loves her theatre classes. I fight traffic on the 401 heading to West Lake Village for my dinner program and use my iPhone to listen to NPR since I can’t find it on the radio. I also get to chat with Hannah in New York and my mom and sister in another part of California. I am not yet marveling about the wonders of modern technology, but wait…
I get to the restaurant and head to the bathroom. When I get back to the table, my phone is lit up with missed calls and messages. Both David and Noah have tried to reach me. I call Noah back first, thinking he should be on his way home from work in Madison, but he doesn’t answer. I call David back and he does answer but he sounds funny. “Do you have a cold?” I ask him. He starts laughing. “Mom, it’s me!” Noah says. What?! But I called David!? I am so confused! And then we switch to FaceTime and I see that Noah and David are togetherin Las Vegas! They are so pleased with themselves for pulling off this trick on me, an idea they hatched last month when they both realized their work trips to Las Vegas overlapped.
So Operation Confuse and Surprise Katya was a success! And I love it! I am so tickled that Noah and David got to have a wonderful meal together (they taunted me with photos of that as well) and that they got in a bonus visit with each other. And I love the technology that lets me be a part of it all. I could not travel as much as I do if I did not have the means to catch up with David each day and come up with a long-distance version of our dinner and pillow talk. And I would feel the angst of having my kids and family so far flung much more acutely if I didn’t have the means of seeing them and talking to them so regularly. But most of all I am grateful that we all wantto see each other and catch up and be part of each other’s lives. Noah and David no doubt spent the evening discussing politics, quoting The Simpsons and Blazing Saddles and Blues Brothers, and catching up on family stuff. And the joy on their faces, and mine at how it all unfolded, says it all. It makes me so excited for December, when we will all be under one roof again and be able to enjoy each other’s company without technology bringing us together.
Until then, this will do very nicely.