My family is excitedly awaiting the arrival of our family's first baby! My younger brother and his wife are expecting their first son in exactly one month. While we are all thrilled, we are also a little bit sad because we are in Pennsylvania while Jer and Suzanne are in Alabama.
My brother's job as a helicopter pilot, first with the Army and now with the Coast Guard, has taken him all over the world but never back here to Pennsylvania. Luckily for us we've been able to visit some beautiful places and keep in touch with phone calls and emails. But with the baby on his way being apart has been somewhat bittersweet. We're still keeping in touch, but we'd REALLY like to be together.
Because this is my mom's first grandchild she was set on having a baby shower for Jer and Suzanne. When she first brought it up to me she suggested that we get together with my aunts, cousins, and some close family friends, wrap up the presents, and then send them to Alabama. That sounded nice, but what immediately what popped into my head was, "Skype!" I've used Skype in the classroom and to connect with a few people, but I knew there was potential so I suggested a Skype baby shower to my mom. We would all send our presents to Alabama, and on the picked day everybody would meet at my mom's house, we would connect using Skype, and use a projector so everybody could see them opening the presents.
My mom, along with everybody in attendance today, was a bit skeptical. Most had heard of Skype but never used it. Some had never ever heard of it at all, and the rumblings were, "How is this going to work? I bet we won't even see them!" and on and on. But it worked PERFECTLY!! We gathered in the living room, projected them on a sheet, and WAH-LAAAAA! Baby shower, Skype style:
I have learned so much over the last two years that have benefited my classroom, but now I'm helping others see the potential for improving our every day lives, too. Many of our friends and family have not seen Suzanne and Jeremy since last June so there were cheers for her belly, ooohs and ahhhhs for the presents, and tears of joy and love. It was great to have everybody "together" even with 1,100 miles between us.