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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 13 March 2009

Can You Hear Me?

I spoke to my goddaughter today over webcam. She is two and a half and I am thirty five so we had a kind of schizophrenic dialogue which went something like this:

Me: Hello Emily. What did you do today?
Emily: (chewing on her teddy bear’s head). Grrr. ...Aiowwwwwwwww. Hellooooooo
Me: Why are you chewing on your bear’s head? Are you hungry?
Emily: Hello Hello Hello Hello Aiirrrrrreooowwwwww. Hahahahahaha. I’m two.

And so on. It’s the first time we’ve ever properly sat down to speak and see each other via webcam and I’m hoping that it becomes a semi regular thing. Even though I am far away from where she is, I still want to be a part of her life somehow. It’s a weird thing to see your own disembodied head dipping into and out of frame as you try and chat normally to a child that you have only ever met in the flesh twice. What strange times we live in now. Emily took it all in her stride, chatting to a veritable stranger on a screen. Someone that’s her Godmother but whom she doesn’t really know. She’s too little for this to matter to her or to understand. But I understand all too well and it makes me sad.

I have written about the tyranny of distance endless times. When the place you live takes you far away from your close friends and family. I have written about the expat life and its joys and downfalls. I thought that writing about it, living it and having time pass would mean that the ache would get better but I fear that it never does. I am sick to death about writing about it but just because you are sick of something doesn’t mean that it goes away. When I go about my day-to-day life, I’m ok. I love the life I live here in London. But on days like this when I am jolted into the life of your nearest and dearest back home, I get to see from their side how life has gone on and that I am not a part of it. Even though I know this to be the case, seeing their smiling faces in their house on the other side of the world provides a quick reality check that even though it is so familiar, it is not. This feeling sucks.

In theory, I get it all. In my head I understand that our lives go on, time passes and things change. It’s all a very logical process in my head. But in my heart, I wish that the vast ocean between us was not. I wish that I could play with my Goddaughter, chat and laugh with her mum and then get on the tube and come home.

As long as they are important to me, I don’t see how I will ever feel any different.

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