Nine months. The last time we'd seen Lauren's parents was nine months ago—ten, almost—at the departures terminal of LAX. After a tearful goodbye those last days of June, we'd taken a flight back to Washington, said our farewells to some more loved ones, and packed a few final things. And then we'd flown to Africa.
Summer became autumn and autumn became winter. Winter became spring. We kept in touch, of course. Traveling the world right now, in 2018, is in most ways easier than ever before. For all the ills of modern technology, it can do some incredible things. Phone calls, in real time, from a remote tent in the Tanzanian plains to Bob and V in the outskirts of Los Angeles. Video calls from a roadside wifi spot. Communication, cheaply and easily and rather intimately.
But pixels can only go so far. Nine months is a long time. And so weeks ago, back in Muggia actually, Lauren's parents had agreed to join us in Montenegro at the end of April. And now it is the end of April. And now they're here, looking lovely and three-dimensional and with far fewer beige pixelated boxes affixed to their faces than WhatsApp's low-res videochat display would have us believe.