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Wave Hello To Grandpa!

I’ve mentioned that my husband is a techie, right? 
Not to be confused with Trekkie, please.
Anyway, he’s always finding these techno gadgets that seem to me to be more trouble than they’re worth, until two years later I look around and wonder how I lived without it.  The ole’ compact disc was one of his first finds in our relationship – about two decades ago.  I scoffed at him and clung vociferously to my cassette tapes.  Now I can’t even find my cassette tapes, but they are somewhere in this house because I’m not throwing away a perfectly good cassette tape.  Ok, a slightly warped cassette tape.

Another one of his “finds” – the MP3 player.  When he first mentioned it to me, I scoffed heartily – why buy such a device when we have all the music already on cds (and cassette tapes!)?  And the portable cd player on which to play them?  I put my foot down on the expense, which act he calmly circumvented by listing the MP3 player on his Christmas list.  After months of meticulous research, Brian picked what is, in his opinion, the best MP3 player out there.  And it’s not an IPOD.  If you want to debate him on that, feel free to email him, but bring your facts to back it up.  A couple years later, I panic when he takes it out of the house for even a short while – the thing’s got all of Maddie’s playlists on it!  What if she needs her Soothing Music???
But we’re off the subject here – my point is that I have to grudgingly admit that my husband does have an eye on inventions that, when I quit waxing nostalgia over “The Way Life Was”, actually do enrich our lives. 
Take the webcam we’ve got – it’s been sitting on our computer desk gathering dust for a couple years now.  The only reason it actually entered the house was because Brian got if for free from a vendor; I was convinced we’d never use it, with connections being so slow and no one else owning one.  What’s the point?
Apparently Maddie’s the point.  Since she’s been born, both sets of long-distance grandparents have not only gotten a webcam, but set it up and installed the thing!  When, in desperation to fight back the encroaching, inexorable tide of technology, I claimed the software to use it would be too expensive, Brian found a free, downloadable program called Skype that works just fine and is, in fact, really free!  Time to throw in the towel.
The truth is, having the webcam is a way to keep Maddie’s grandparents in touch with her that’s like no other.  Pictures are great, and easy to upload with our digital camera (another Brian insistence), but they don’t give her grandparents the essence of her – the squeals and waves and giggles.  Just the other night we were hooked up with Brian’s folks and Maddie flirted with them for half an hour.  They got to see the color of her newly growing hair, the way she waves at herself all the time, the way she can almost stand up by herself.  And that’s something you don’t get any other way.  With this little bit of technology, they are able to be a part of her everyday life, rather than the scary people she sees once a year.  And I have to admit – it’s worth allowing a little extra technology into our lives to see that happen.
I’ve gradually come around to trusting my husband’s instincts, and not automatically assuming it’s just a big boy’s toy he’s after.  I’ll confess my biggest fear, now – she’s getting awfully comfortable in front of a camera.  Yikes.


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