Timing has never been my strong point. Timing FaceTime calls is proof of this unassailable fact.
Whenever I FaceTime my (Not
So Very Little) Welsh Boys, they will invariably be (I) out somewhere exciting; (ii) at home but about to sit down to a meal; or (iii) about to go to bed and consequently too tired to hold a sensible conversation, even with me. You'd think I might have learnt,
over the years, but, hey, no I haven’t.
I usually try Sam the Eldest first but this a hit and miss affair because it relies on Sam being allowed Tablet Time
at the precise moment I have chosen to call. If (or more usually when) this fails I call his father who will usually respond with a few succinct words. “Out at moment. Will call later.” Or words to that effect. It is not unusual for several failed
attempts, at both ends, before we finally get to “see” each other.
Yesterday was Sam’s party, in celebration of his forthcoming eleventh birthday.
My Boy advises me to ring again today when the Almost Birthday Boy will be sure to tell me all about it. It will be almost as good as being there.
a false start (I call when the family is just leaving a Lido where they have spent an excellent afternoon enjoying Water Related Activities) Sam calls me on my mobile and proceeds to give me a quite excellent rundown on the party afternoon at somewhere called
Fluidity. As far as I can tell, he relates events in strictly chronological order, starting with the fact that they arrive before everyone else. Which is what you do, when it's your birthday party of course.
I am impressed that he manages to stick to his story even when his two younger brothers interfere with his narrative by inserting themselves into the picture, generally sideways on or upside down. Young Morgan wants to know
when I will be coming to his house again. He asks the same question every time and it breaks my heart that I can't tell him that I'm on my way.
What did we do
before Skype and FaceTime brought us closer to our distant grandchildren? Telephone conversations are not quite the same - though I do have particularly sweet memories of hearing the voices of two of my older grandkids, when they were about the age of
The Twinkles, on the end of a phone line. One always sang the ABC song, the other regaled me with “One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive…” Always the same songs. Always delivered with enormous gusto. I never bored of hearing
Recently I took to Twitter where Sam’s school had uploaded (or downloaded or whatever you do when you take to twittering) his Leaving Assembly.
Okay, it wasn't just his Leaving Assembly so I had to watch a lot of other Leavers going through their paces as well as Sam - but it was, indeed, almost as good as being there.
Sam says he will FaceTime me on his birthday in a few days time. I am hoping I may be able to watch him open his present from his Grandad and me which should have been delivered from the Amazon Jungle on Friday. Perhaps he will remember to show me the
birthday banner I sent him. “Samuel is Eleven” it reads - that's quite a lot of letters now I come to think of it. It's going to take up rather a lot of room on the wall….
It's been so lovely chatting to him, even though I didn’t do much of the talking. I did manage to report that of the three sunflowers planted for him and his brothers, two are in flower and have grown higher than the garden fence.
Time to go. “Three, two, one!” Sam calls - to make sure that we both press the red button to sign off at exactly the same time. The screen goes
blank. Then, seconds later, there's the pinging sound to signal a message received. It's from Sam, who else?
Love you, too, my darling boy.