Skype is software that enables audio and video calls on the internet. After hearing only positive word-of-mouth, we bought a webcam and downloaded Skype (for free!) when Joe's best friend moved to Singapore. The boys have had several conversations, but overall we don't Skype much.
Last night Lauren called to talk to Len and me*. The speaker phone was scratchy so we moved to our webcams, and immediately everything was radically different.
This was mostly a business meeting--the mission trip/social justice/art class she wants to take next semester, a mysterious VCU bill, the status of the 3rd car, etc. But now I could watch my girl twirl her hair and look at her tired eyes. I could see her soft smile, familiar expressions, and (I think) a necklace that used to be mine. She showed us some of the photos she's been developing in class.
It was a better meeting than usual, but by the time it was over I missed Lauren more, not less. I don't think I can articulate why; maybe it's due to the multi-sensory reminder of who I'm missing. A disembodied voice on the phone just isn't the same. So Skype for me is sweet tempered with an edge of bitterness--just like the very best chocolate.
*Yes, "me" my children, not "I" in this case! (They're used to MUCH grammar correction around here...)