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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

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original graphic by me
Sometimes I get really jealous of people who live near their families. Or, near enough to see them regularly. I'm very grateful my older brother lives just a few minutes away, and that my sister is just a couple of cities away. But they're busy people, and we're all in different stages of our lives. Why is it that the one sibling I have who also has a young family like me lives the farthest away? Rude.

Understandably, a lot of our friends in the area often can't commit to plans with us because family things come up. Birthdays, weddings, reunions, Sunday dinners, vacations, etc. They sincerely apologize for cancelling or being unavailable and say things like, "Oh, you know how it is with family."

Actually, I don't. I mean, I obviously get that spending time with their families is more important than a play date with me and Aspen, but I don't really know how it is from much personal experience.

The cousins on Kev's side who are Aspen's age are very, very busy. They have other family who lives close and they see each other on a weekly basis. It leaves little time for us to get together and let Aspen play with them. The only other sibling Kev has in Utah is a lot older, and his kids are already teens. So that just leaves us as kind of our own independent family unit (so Tiff needs to move to Utah, already!!).

I'm usually okay with this because I like to be in charge and plan our Holidays without worrying about coordinating a lot of difference schedules. I get to make the foods we like for Thanksgiving and Christmas without worrying about making three different kinds of potatoes or cooking a ham correctly. In those aspects, it's nice just having my brother and sister stop by and shower Aspen with attention (and usually presents, those big spoilers) when they can. Basically, I like being the boss of everything ;).

But then there are times when I feel that Aspen is missing out on important experiences. And although it would be impractical for many reasons, I sometimes pretend we could move to Maine near my parents/grandpa and then Aspen could at least have great/grandparent-time every week. Never mind that they still work full-time and wouldn't be hanging out with us every day. But... it's just a little daydream of mine. Okay, and mayyybe part of that daydream involves having someone available to babysit without me feeling immense amounts of guilt for intruding on someone else's life with my kid.

I honestly don't know what I would have done the last few years without the help of all my siblings, and I don't want to downplay the significance of their influence in my new role as parent. I just feel a little homesick and it's been weighing on my mind lately.

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10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry your feeling homesick. I would imagine this time of year would do that for anyone not living close to family.

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    1. The weirdest part about it is remembering how much I hated living in Maine when I was in high school. But it's different now that I have Aspen.

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  2. We are adjusting to this new reality in our lives right now. While I have lived far from my family for almost 10 years now, Cameron's parents and sisters and families lived right next to us in Utah. And we were spoiled for it. But hopefully branching out on our own will be good for us. So I feel like I am starting to relate! We do miss the free babysitters for sure!

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    1. I've always appreciated my independence, but now that I'm not just taking care of myself I really don't want to be so independent anymore!

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  3. I wish everyone could live by their family! I'm sorry yours lives sooo far away! That is really far! But, the good news is that I can watch aspen for you, NO guilt. Seriously, playmate for Anna! I am one of those lame friends whose life is consumed with family, I apologize, but the good news is that I can watch aspen for you anytime, just call me, Anna and I would love it!

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    1. Just because I'm jealous doesn't mean you're lame!

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  4. Oh, this post almost made me cry! You know I would move to Utah in a heartbeat. (I'm still working on it) I totally get how you feel too. It's so frustrating that my kids NEVER see any of their cousins and barely know my family at all. They finally are about to have 2 cousins on Jim's side, but both are babies and still live far so my kids won't ever really know them either. :(
    The only good thing we have going is that Nolan is now 12 so at least we have a free babysitter again (We pay him in gum. For real. It's awesome. :))

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    1. I'd say it's definitely your turn to live close to family!

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  5. I have a different perspective. All of my family actually lives rather close. I believe the farthest sibling lives 25 minutes away and I never see them. I am very close to my parents and see them weekly, but I have not even seen Andrew's siblings and their children since August I believe at a baptism. I see my little brother and his family at least a few times a month, but other than that we are not very close with our siblings. I think it is a difference in lifestyles and such, but I actually felt bad in a different way after reading your post. The only thing that keeps me here in this state is my parents. Andrew has asked to move multiple times to a different state due to the fact that he does not want to be born, live and die in one state, but I just can't think of being that far from my parents since my husband works a lot. At times I feel so alone and all my family is here and the thought terrifies me of truly being alone in another state. Probably the weirdest part of it all is that almost every sibling has a child the exact same ages as both my kids and we never have play dates. We too are all busy and going a mile a minute, but now that I think about it and am writing it; it is odd.

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    1. Being friends with my siblings makes a big difference in how I feel. I'm really grateful that when Kev is working so much I can actually go stay at my brother's house with Aspen for some company! That helped me a lot when we lived in WJ and Kev worked even more than he does now. I can understand your hesitation to live far from your parents for that reason.

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