What comes to mind when you read this headline? Memories of a history lesson understanding the exploration of Marco Polo the explorer or a game you played as a child?
I am in fact not talking about either of these two scenarios but rather about a relatively new application that you can download on your smart phone. It is a video messaging application that connects you with both individual and group conversations. You send a video message. The person on the other side is notified that you have sent them a video message. You listen at a time convenient to you and respond.
Today I want to share how I am using this app with my grandchildren. My grandchildren are all under 10 and live on different continents. I am always looking for creative ways to connect with them and build a relationship. This is not easy when one lives so far apart. The cousins also do not get to connect enough. The time of day for communication is also difficult with time zone challenges.
Most days I send a message about my everyday life and something I want to share with them. Using their parents’ phones, they respond or send me their own little message. I just love the way they have learnt to use this tool and have taught me all kinds of fun activities attached to the app. We draw pictures, lots of hearts, funny voices and different visual applications. The joy of childhood is having fun, being silly and through this process building a special bond.
We have also formed a family group to share special moments. This past week the London 6-year-old twins were helping mom make a Christmas cake and they shared this with me here in South Africa and with their 9 and 10-year-old cousins in Thailand. It was a special moment of sharing across the globe and ensuring that we keep building the fabric of memories for our family, our children and grandchildren. Our lives are lived moment by moment. Use what you have to make the most of these moments.
We all feel the pain of the miles between us. There is nothing to replace the joy of time together. I want to encourage you to learn the skills of using some great apps on your phone that can help to connect you to your loved ones and create opportunities to build family and relationships.
Time to sign off now. I need to go and send a Marco polo……..