I have always known Samuel loves people. He gets excited when we go to church, waving his arms and squealing in delight. After service, Samuel eagerly greets several people with a broad smile. Most weeks, we sing Happy Birthday to celebrate a member of the congregation. I think Samuel believes they sing the song just for him. I often videotape this time for him to watch later. These scenes warm my momma’s heart.
Last year, during several winter months, we refrained from going to church. With cold and flu season in full gear, we do our best to protect our little guy from catching a cold. This year, we watched to see when we should stop attending church again. The decision was straightforward when we started seeing cases of Covid-19 spreading across the country.
How To Use Technology For Social Interaction
Not only did we stop attending church, but the Homebound School Teacher, Speech & Physical Therapy ceased to come to our home out of an abundance of caution. We also instituted only eating at home and ordering our groceries online. These actions are extraordinary from any other cold and flu season we have experienced.
As we go into our third week of these measures, I realize that Samuel still needs social interaction. We are finding creative ways to help Samuel thrive through this time of social isolation. Samuel’s Homebound School Teacher braved the unfamiliar world of technology to bring him lessons at home via Zoom. This software company offers face-to-face interaction via computer and iPhone/Android phones. She reads him a book as he laughs and giggles. Then she asks questions about the story for Samuel to answer. He loved it.
FaceTime & Phone
Last week, we used FaceTime to chat with a dear friend, Sandra, from our church. Again, Samuel was in his element, hamming it up by making faces and laughing out loud. It was almost like seeing her in person. And then yesterday, my aunt calls from Germany. I placed her on speaker so Samuel could hear her, but she did not have FaceTime technology. She said hello to Samuel, and after our conversation, I hung up.
Then, I looked over at Samuel’s iPad, which has thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos. Unbeknownst to me, while I had been talking with my aunt, Samuel scrolled to a picture of my aunt and myself from her visit last year. It dumbfounded me. My little guy searched until he found this one picture. He knew who I was talking to.
And this morning, our friend, Thomas, from Sweden called on WhatsApp. Samuel’s face lit up as he recognized our good friend who visits us once a year. His face beamed as he flashed his now-famous smile to his Swedish buddy.
So whether it’s the teacher using Zoom, a phone call on speaker, or a friend calling internationally on WhatsApp, we are providing Samuel with the social engagement he not only enjoys but craves. We all need that valuable human interface in these times of self-isolation and self-distancing.
How are you being engaged with others from the comforts of your living room? Comment and share your experiences below.
P.S. Want to stay encouraged in these times of self-isolation? Join me on Facebook Live as I read devotions from Thriving Through Your Trials: Devotions Of Miracle, Faith & Prayer. If you would like to participate, send a Facebook friend request to Evelyn Kraemer Mann. Available now for those interested: https://changeherstory.org/collections/new-books/products/thriving-through-your-trials-pre-order