I won't lie to you and say that living 2,000 miles away from family isn't hard. But, I will say that technology makes things a little bit easier. My kids, for the most part, know who their aunts and uncles are because we chat on FaceTime and have laughs together. But it did break my heart last week when Parker didn't know who his cousin Kathryn was - she doesn't like to FaceTime and when I showed him her picture he just didn't recognize her.
That is what kills me and makes it so hard.
My sister came to visit last week and the time spent with the kids was simply magical. I felt ecstatic that she got to get to see their personalities in person. Matilda isn't much for chatting on the phone, but in person she talks all day long. It made me so happy that Meghan got to witness all the silly things she says.
But, once a year is not enough and that makes it so hard.
My papa is currently losing his memory because of Alzheimer's and with each FaceTime call, I see him slipping away. But just like the kids' aunts and uncles don't really know them, I can't really know what it is like for my family right now as they navigate this new path with my dad.
With distance there is a disconnect, and that makes it so hard.
But, we have friends here who act like aunt, uncle, and cousin. The kids climb on them, hug them, and kiss their cheeks. They get excited when they come over and run around the house with more energy than usual. And, when it is time for them to leave, they jump in the car and ask to join them at home. Having that kind of friend where you don't have to shower, clean your house, or plan activities makes the biggest difference when homesickness sinks in.
Friends can't substitute for family, but it does make it so much easier.