|original graphic by me|
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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