Living Far Away From Family

A few weeks ago we went out to California to see my cousin Rachel and her two little ones – KK who is 2 1/2 and C who is almost one. Even though she is technically my cousin, I think of Rachel more like a second sister.

We live on opposite coasts, but luckily we have stayed close through the years. I think it’s because of this that I already feel so close to her little ones. We’ve met the kids before and have spent time with them, but this was the first time hanging out with them on their turf. It didn’t take long for them to warm up to us. KK had already fallen in love with Mike (my husband) when she first met him at my sister’s wedding, so it was like we jumped right back into things.

They are the most precious kids.

C has this fiery, spiky red hair and the biggest blue/green eyes you’ve ever seen. He’s the happiest baby I’ve ever seen, and man can that boy eat! The cutest thing ever was when he’d be done eating and he’d do sign language to say “all done” with those little hands to his mommy. She’d get him out of his highchair and he’d laugh out loud, and wiggle and kick, so proud of himself that he could communicate.

And KK is just so precious and bright. She loves to dance and she’s so smart for a 2 1/2 year old. She would “cook” for us in her kitchen and make up her own stories when she “read” us books. She made me read her the first four pages of one of Rachel’s cookbooks over and over and over again. When she gets excited her little hands shake and she jumps up and down like a little jumping bean until she wears herself out.

It’s funny because I’d feel proud when other grown ups (beside her parents of course) wanted to play with her and she’d come to me instead (I’m sorry I know that’s so selfish!) She’d sit on my lap and snuggle and look up at me and say “I wuv you!” My heart almost burst right then and there.

It’s funny, because I know they aren’t mine, but when I got on that plane to go home I felt a little lump in my throat. Will they remember us the next time we see them? Will they know who we are and still want to hang out with us? By then C will be walking and KK will be reading for real and we are going to miss it!!!!!!

After all of the joy from our week, the house seems eerily quiet.

It seems so stupid to be upset, but how do you NOT get attached? It’s hard being away from family. Kids just amplify it because it turns what you’re missing into something tangible. So, for now, we’ll video chat and we’ll have to plan another trip to look forward to in the meantime!

How do you deal with living far away from your family? And how do you stay in touch?

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