Does anyone else remember that Julianna Hatfield song? Just me? Well, this is nothing as dark and dramatic as those lyrics, but I do miss my sister…terribly…horribly, terribly, awfully. Since I moved to NYC almost 12 years ago, I have missed my whole family. We talk on the phone. Often. Like several times a day often. It’s always been ok. I get small, concentrated doses of them and it’s good. That was, until my niece was born.
Now that my sister is a mother and there is whole new person in the world to whom I am related, it’s reached another level. Being so far away is now gut-wrenching in the truest sense of the word. I didn’t expect to love her THIS much. To feel such a connection with her just because she is my sister’s child. I honestly didn’t understand how difficult it must be for my mother and sister to be far from my kids until this. Children are such a living illustration of the passage of time. They change so quickly.
I will be lying in bed at night (over) thinking as I often do and mentally calculate how old my niece will be each time I’ll see her in the next year. I realize that the next time we’re together she might be sitting up on her own and then the time after that she might be walking and talking. It’s impossible to stop and it breaks my heart. I want to see all of these things. I want to be a part of her life.
More than that though, I want to be a part of that life with my sister. She said to me once that if we lived close to each other, we could both work part time and then watch all of our kids part time. It struck me that it is absolutely true. Now I know that it sounds very simple when just mentioned over the phone and the real-life implementation of such a plan would most likely not be that smooth. We will have differences in our parenting styles. Our husbands will see things in different ways. We would probably argue and sometimes fight. But still, I would love to live a life like that.
Since Brady was born and I felt so alone and so overwhelmed, I have longed for some sort of “village” to raise my children. In some ways, I have found this with the friends I’ve made here, but I’d still love to have family closer. Once upon a time, and still in some parts of the world, women do raise children together. My ancestors most likely relied on their mothers and sisters and aunts to help them give birth and raise their children. My mom and her sister did this to a degree with my sister, my cousin, and I. But I live in today’s world where I went to college and met a man who wasn’t from the same place as me and so I ended up far away. And so I miss my sister.
I don’t know that I have a point here. I’m just sharing an emotion. I feel very lucky to have a family that I miss so much. I know people who have families that just don’t work on many levels. I certainly have my problems with mine, but at the core we love each other very, very much. We need each other and I like it that way. I’m hoping I’m raising children that will miss each other.