When you grow up with siblings, you take it for granted that you are pretty much never alone. In fact, it was hard to be alone, even when we wanted to be. That was the life of a “big” family. I grew up with four siblings and two parents. We had the biggest house on the block, but at times, it did feel like we were crammed in there. As time passed, people eventually moved away, including myself. The dynamic of the house would shift as people graduated from high school out of our home and into their own worlds. There were marriages, deployments, children, and career moves. But no matter what, you still had this fullness that came with being “at home” with one another. Now that I am grown, I have noticed that even though I had since moved and started my life, I still carry that feeling with me.
My parent’s house is still CENT COM. It is a half hour drive from where Jay and I live. My sister is in Wisconsin with her kids, too. They live near to my parents, maybe about a ten minute drive. My child and her children spend hours, even days, hanging out being near one another. This is a wonderful thing. And a rare one, too.
Jay grew up really near where I did. And later when to the same college (though we didn’t know each other until we landed in Milwaukee). His parents still live in his childhood home in the next town over from my parents. We have dinners and family hang-outs nearly every week. Anouk has cousins on that side.
We don’t know what our future will bring. As we have searched for a new home to buy in the area, we can’t help but wonder if the reason we haven’t found one is that maybe we should expect some sort of career move in the future. It is hard to tell. But for now, we count our blessings and hold to the connected feeling we have of being around those who feel like home.
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