Today we got our first twinge of empty nest/how-fast-she's-growing-up syndrome as we packed Mom, Jessie, Baxter, Jig (the dogs) and Bailey (Mom's bird) into the car and sent them off to Montana. Even though I am flying out on Monday to meet them in Missoula and do the final driving lap with them, it was still an emotional parting. I think one thing that made it so big was I decided at 8:45 last night to see if I could activate J's iPhone and turn it from an iPod to a real phone. We weren't going to let her have a phone until she was 20--or at least 12--because we didn't see the need. But my Mom is trying hard to be the last person left on the planet without a cell phone and we really didn't want them driving 2200 miles without one. How life has changed in the past 20 years. I (as did everyone else) thought nothing of heading across country on my own in a less-than-reliable car with not even a phone card--much less a cell phone.
So now J has a phone, and it's as much so she can call us whenever she wants to as it is for safety. Maybe more. We just had our first chat (she called from Nashville) and I miss her so!!! The saga of the phone was quite funny. Turns out once a SIM card in a phone has been used it can never be provisioned again. As J has a used iPhone the card was no longer viable. No problem, you can buy a SIM card at CVS or WalMart. So while I am setting everything up with AT&T on the phone, Dave heads to WalMart (and we pause the Princess Bride--we had all been watching it for the 9000th time). Unfortunately when he gets back he tells me that they didn't have any SIM cards so he had to buy a disposable phone instead. But we live in the days of Miracles and Wonder, and the AT&T rep walks me through taking the SIM card from the disposable and putting it into J's iPhone. Voila--a new phone for $9.99 and no contract added to our family plan! It was pretty smooth and amazing.
We finished the Princess Bride (all but Mom who had given up and gone to bed in the middle of the tech storm) and fell into bed for a short five hours sleep before getting up to have a last family breakfast and send the travelers off. The last photos of the evening are of Dave and the J in their new BECon wear (J had to stand on the coffee table so I could get them both in the pic with my iPhone).