Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy Dad-E Phone Home

Hello everyone from abroad! As I mentioned in a previous post, due to work I’m actually on the other side of the pond right now, missing Mom-E and the boys very much.

Your prayers for Mom-E’s sanity (and everyone’s health and safety) right now are much appreciated. (She’s EXTREMELY capable, but pregnant plus 2 kids under 5 while hubby is away is stressful no matter how good you are.) She’s hanging in there so far, but we’ll both be very glad when I’ve returned.

Today I just wanted to share with you a story about how the important role that people and friendship play in our lives.

Including layovers, it took me 4 flights and 24 hours to get to my final destination. (Fortunately the return trip will take “only” 16.5 hours for a number of reasons).

Anyway, after my long (and fortunately uneventful) sojourn, all I wanted to do was call home and hear the voices of Mom-E and my boys.

We have used a prepaid calling card before on a trip here, so I was confident this would work.

I planned to use an online “callback” system to place the call.

The only problem was that the phone—the only phone where I’m staying—was a pulse and not a touch tone phone. So, when I went to put in the PIN number for the calling card, I got an error message.

Mom-E, of course, was at the zoo with the boys at the time, and she had no way of knowing exactly when I would arrive at my lodging to make the call herself.

Not wanting to make a credit card call for $10/second, I turned to the internet.

First, I emailed Mom-E and a few family and friends to let them know I’d arrived safely.

Then, I emailed everyone to say, “Hey, if you get this message, please call Mom-E to let her know I got here okay and am having trouble calling her. If you want, here is all of the information that she needs to call me where I am.” I also said, “I’ve been up for the better part of 30 hours, and I don’t know how long I can wait up before I’m going to crash.”

I happened to include a work colleague in the email, solely because she’d just responded to another email, and I thought perhaps she was online.

I thought right.

My work colleague was the first to reply, and was able to get the information to Mom-E.

After about 20 minutes and a few failed attempts, Mom-E was finally able to get through.

It was so wonderful to talk to them. Of course, I was utterly exhausted from the trip and Mom-E was utterly exhausted from trekking around the zoo with 2 tired, fussy boys, but their tired, fussy voices were still a little slice of heaven.

Of course, Big Brother and Little Brother didn’t really even talk to me much. They were preoccupied with zoo stuff. I could hear Mom-E ask them, “Do you want to talk to Dad-E?”

“No!” I could hear them reply in the background.

Strangely, it was still sweet music.

I just took it with a grain of salt, after all, they think that I’m going on this trip solely to get them toys.

At first, they asked for dinosaurs. Then, Big Brother became more general in his questioning. “What kind of toys do they have in ‘X’?” he asked.

“They have all kind of toys in ‘X’.” I replied, fighting back with another generalization to keep my options open, lest I corner myself into buying some remote-controlled Diego rescue pack. “I’m sure I’ll find something cool for you, if you’re a good, helpful boy for Mom-E.”

Some day I will enjoy explaining to them that I did not fly on 4 airplanes just to buy them dinosaurs.

Oh well, they also think that I’m only a few inches away on the map.

All I can say is that I’m very grateful for the help in phoning home. It made all the difference.

Have a good week,


  1. Hi Dad-E! The boys and I are very excited about your return! Have a safe flight home!
    Love, Mom-E and the Gang

  2. It is nice to hear the sweet voices of your kids when you are so far away. Be careful and hurry home to them. I am sure you miss them a bunch. We are going away this weekend to Chicago and it will be the first time I am leaving them for such a long period of time. I am going to go crazy, but I am hoping to sleepin in. I have not done that in years. LOL! Rosi

  3. Glad you were able to get through and glad you arrived in 'X' safely! Have a good time and a safe trip back! love, aunt-e

  4. A. We need to introduce you to skype.
    B. Can you bring me back a driver? I think you could fit one in with your luggage.

  5. Hope you have had a very productive few days over there. Looking forward to hearing about it. Have a safe trip home.