There's a sweet little soul, not yet a year old, who lives hundreds of miles away from her Grammie and Grampie, but who isn't letting that stop her from "visiting" them.
That little soul is our granddaughter, Brooklyn.
Every couple of days, Brooklyn's mummy (our daughter Jen) fires up the computer, clicks on our Skype address and watches Brooklyn's face break into a picture of fascination as the characteristic "bing-bong-bong-bing" of Skpe's calling signal begins to ring our computer.
With equal anticipation, we grands click on "answer with video" and wait while the little round icon finishes its rotation and those sweet faces of Brookie, her mummy and her daddy pop onto our screen.
Each time this happens, I marvel at how far modern technology has come in connecting us to each other, and how only decades ago, this would have been only a glimmer in the imaginations of Gene Roddenberry and the Star Trek writers.
What really boggles my mind is envisioning how far these technologies will take Brooklyn in her lifetime. Her opportunities in communication will be more than unlimited. They will be beyond anything we could currently imagine.
Thanks to Skype, we don't feel so lonely to see our "Sweet Pea" -- "The Pea" for short. (In our family, we have a long history of pinning nicknames to our children as babies, ones that may or may not linger years into their childhood. Brooklyn's mummy, Jen, was known as "Tweed", our little "Tweedy-pie". Her brother Brad was named "Big Guy" -- B.G. or "Big" for short -- because he looked like a sumo wrestler, weighing ten pounds, four ounces at birth. My nephew was nicknamed "Beaker" when he was born because his daddy is a chemist. It's a family fascination both endearing and annoying, depending on whether you are the namer or the namee!)
The Pea, for certain, lives up to her name on Skype. That sweet little round face, gorgeous brilliant big blue eyes, and a mischievous little grin with only a few "pearly whites" poking through her pink gums is a sight that lights up a grandmother's heart! She lets out a few noises to let us know she's "talking" to us, and she zooms her cherubic face up close to the webcam, giving us a little wave or wagging her index finger so that we will imitate her back. She giggles and shrieks sometimes and stares solemnly at us for long seconds. We can watch her scurry around her playroom on all fours, and launch herself onto the cat with gleeful abandon.
If modern internet inventors set out to enrich our lives with these tools, they have more than succeeded with Skype.
We are hooked, and so is our Skype Child!