While I travel a good deal for work, I am also the proud father of two young boys. As anyone who travels for business can attest, time on the road takes its toll on family life. Here’s one way I stayed connected with my little guys from the jungles of Brazil.
About two years ago I was slated for a project in several locations in Brazil. The total time away from home was scheduled to be almost three weeks, which is a lifetime to a seven-year-old (the then one-year old, I’m certain, knew me only as “not mom”). We try to maintain contact via Skype and phone calls, but depending on location, even those options can be challenging. On this particular trip, I decided to try something a little different.
My seven-year-old was, and is, a big fan of Legos. At the time, he was particularly obsessed with the Indiana Jones figures (he found it especially funny that I had grey facial hair and glasses like Indy’s dad – and that I do a fair Sean Connery impression). The night before I left for Brazil, I crept into his room and kidnapped his Indy and Indy’s Dad figures. The next day I sent him a message from the airport telling him that the Jones boys had stashed themselves away in my bag and that I’d keep him posted on any trouble they got into during my trip.
For the next three weeks I sent him more than a dozen photos of the two little figures in action in locations around Brazil. Needless to say, he loved it and it was a comforting way for me to feel a little closer to him and home. It also proved an entertaining ice-breaker with Brazilian talent who didn’t speak any English (why is this crazy American sprawled on the ground with a camera?).
A wonderful experience, and one my son and I won’t soon forget.
What do you do to keep in touch when you’re away?