Long distance families are becoming more the norm. Separation by states and time zones make it hard to maintain those family ties like they should be….Visits get farther apart…..twice a year becomes once every two years. Phone calls are short and just gloss over the daily details that really add up to the big picture. And before you know it, you find yourself asking ….Do I really know my siblings anymore? Do I know them as they are as adults, mommies, daddies, spouses or friends?
The interactions between us all haven’t changed much of the years and most often I am flashed back to my teenage years when I am with them. Quickly, I become that awkward 14 year old again that is not and will never be one of the cool kids (thank goodness). It is frustrating as hell to not be able to shake that feeling. I am the only one responsible for that feeling of inadequacy that sneaks up on me. I cause it and I should be able to stop it. But when I am with them, I can’t see myself as a determined, confident, self-assured, mother and wife that I am every day.
If I can’t see myself in my adult role, than it stands to reason that it would be hard to see my siblings in their everyday roles and for them to imagine me in my adult role. I have to admit that even though everything under the sun baby related has been discussed, debated, and recommended via phone, the image of my siblings as parents is still fuzzy for me. Logically, I know that they parent my precious nieces everyday but since I can’t be a part of it with them….it just seems too distant to really be real.
I understand the need and desire to spread out and explore this world of ours and find your path wherever it may take you…even states or continents away… But deep down I have the longing for the conventional extended family unit, where aunts and uncles attend ballgames and birthday parties and everyone makes it in time for Sunday dinners at YaYa’s after church.
After ten years of moving around for my career, I was luckily enough to come home to start my family unit near my folks. I am so blessed to be able to do so and can’t imagine it any other way. PaPa and Mae Mae get to hangout a few days a week to give her a break from daycare. That is very precious time that I wish my nieces could have. My heart aches for what they are missing and don’t even know it.
It is true that if my siblings really wanted that kind of lifestyle they could/would make it happen. They are happy in their lives…..I am grateful for that but most days it feels like a piece of our family is missing.