A Sister Away From Home

From the category of things-that-break-my-heart comes this scenario that played out this afternoon.
I had just turned in my last take-home test and my children's literature project, marking the completion of my midterms. All I have to do Friday is attend classes and get my internship hours in, then I'm headed home to Nashville on the Megabus Saturday afternoon. I texted my mom, to let her know--as she was praying for me through my tests--and I received this text back.
"Yay! however... I just came across Fiona crying in her room and I asked her what was wrong... She said she missed you & Meg."
Fiona is four and the youngest of my eight siblings. At almost twenty-two, I'm the oldest. Meg--Megan--is 18 months younger than me, and the only other girl. The two of us are both away at school; I'm a sorta-Senior and she's a Sophomore. Fiona is at home with the boys. She lives for the times when we come home. I texted mom back immediately: "I'm calling", Then I dialed home. Mom picked up and I asked to be put on with Fiona.
"Hey Girl, do you know what's happening on Saturday?"
I hear heavy breathing and a slight noise--almost like a meow--on the other end, she hasn't quite got the hang of talking on the phone yet, so I continue,
"I'm coming home on Saturday, and I can't wait to see you."
I hear Mom on the other end coaching Fiona to speak. "I told Sarah you were sad, but she's coming home, so you have something to look forward to."
"When I come home Fiona, you can come hang out in my room with me, and sit in my chair..." She comes in and curls up in my armchair and pretends to be a cat... when she's not trying on all my shoes that is.
We make other plans to paint our nails with pink polish and exchange "I love you's" then I get off the phone.
I always forget how old she's getting, how she can understand my absence more and more as time passes.  I get so caught up in school life that it takes a lot of intentional thinking to get my mind back home.
I'm beginning to forget birthdays, and it takes the boys threatening to fine me for late happy birthdays to jog my memory.
It takes mom texting me these little updates to bring me back. I know I can't blame myself forgetting the little things sometimes, I like the reminders. I've gotten wake up texts with pictures of Cole's first omelette, and the newest picture of Fiona always graces my phone wallpaper. I can't wait to see them when I get home.

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