Every Friday, give or take, I have a lunch date with my sister. We sit down together, the children chatter away at each other, and we catch up on each other’s news, talk about babies, and cake decorating, and what we’re cooking for supper, or whether the small nephew has enjoyed his swimming class that morning.
Kitty will sing snippets of our songs from Rhyme Time, and Elma will bang her cup on the table until her cousin smiles at her.
So far, so very ordinary. There’s just one little twist. My sister lives 80 odd miles and the M25 away. And much as I love her, that’s a bit too far, and far too much M25 to meet up in person. So, courtesy of two Ipads and the wonders of the Internets, our lunch date is by Facetime.
As lunchtime comes around on a Friday morning, we cook up our lunch (frequently pasta shapes), Zee puts together something yummy at her end, and whoever’s ready first presses call.
We talk on the phone most days, but I love that this way we get to actually see each other. I get to watch the no longer quite so tiny nephew grow and grow, to make him giggle singing silly songs and making faces around the corner of the screen, and my girls get to play peekaboo with their Auntie. Zee has sung to an entranced Elma to entertain her while I’ve had to answer the front door, and I’ve chattered away at my nephew to distract him while his Mama puts the final touches to his lunch.
I don’t know about the wee man, but Elma is certainly finding it hard to believe that I’m not hiding him behind the screen; she’ll stretch to peek around it hoping for a glimpse, and holds her food out to his picture for him to have a bite. And Kitty, well Kitty considers them her very own personal captive audience; she will tell all about our day so far, everything that’s happened that week that she considers important, and ask all about their days.
Our family isn’t huge, at least not on my side; and it is a little far flung across the country so we don’t get to meet up in person all that often, but when we do I love that the girls are so at ease because this isn’t some stranger that last saw them a few months ago, but their much loved aunt and cousin.
And when we actually went to London in person in November for a certain young man’s christening, Kitty recognised Zee’s friend R, and my brother in law’s Mum from their lunchtime cameos.
It’s a bit of a quirky ordinary moment I know, but it wouldn’t have been possible even three years ago (desperately slow broadband all round), and it’s a moment in our week that I love.