A couple weekends ago on a Sunday morning, my phone rang sometime around 9am. I'm not going to lie to you... I heard it. I just didn't care. This habit my body has created of not falling asleep until three or four in the morning is starting to make me feel like a baby that has its days and nights mixed up.
So anyway, I heard the phone somewhere in the deep and distant recesses of my mind, and then spent the next two hours dreaming about answering phones, dreaming about phone messages and dreaming about throwing phones out the window. (Medications give me very vivid dreams...)
When I finally dragged my butt out of bed and remembered to check the voice mail, I discovered my brother Jerry was calling to say he and Anna were on their way to my town for a soccer game. They had the towns mixed up and realized that morning they were heading in my direction.
Now THAT is a call that would have been worth waking up for. When I talked to him they had already started the first game ... but the soccer field is only about five minutes from my house, so they came for lunch during the hour or so between games. And when I say they came for lunch, what I mean is that he picked up Panera and we ate it at my house. I just didn't want you all to suddenly think I'm domesticated or something.
I have to say it kind of killed me to have Anna playing five minutes away and not be able to go outside to cheer her on and brag to everyone on the sidelines that I'm her aunt. Even as I'm typing this I know how much I probably would have embarrassed her by screaming at the top of my lungs and taking credit for every goal she made... telling everyone I taught her everything she knows. :) It would be like when she was little and her mom would make up cheers to yell during her games.
But let's be honest... embarrassing children is one of the perks of being an adult. It's like a rite of passage or something.
Which is why I had so much fun getting to sit across the table from the girl and ask all sorts of embarrassing questions about boys and school and stuff. She had her friend Emily with her, which only added to the possibility of extracting information. (Not that they offered much... Jerry even offered Emily $20 for some good dish and she still didn't spill. Heck, I was willing to make stuff up for the $20 but that didn't fly either.) I did, however, get to hear stories about her brothers that can only be told from the perspective of an older sister. Man, I miss those little stinkers.
But mostly, it made me realize that while I'm grateful Skype has given me the ability to see her when she got her braces off and chat with her and the other kids when they are home at Mom and Dad's for holidays or random weekends, there's no replacement for getting to hug her and my brother in person.
And there's one more aspect that Skype didn't account for...
In the year or so since I've seen her in person, Anna suddenly grew tall enough to be able to look down at me. Which means the next time she comes, her Aunt Sara will be wearing heels.