One of my best friends moved to California a few weeks ago.
I've had this post in mind since the day before she left but I couldn't see through the tears that formed every time I sat down to write it. It still is not easy, but I have greater clarity about what is upsetting me now. Imagine how clear I'll be a month from now!
I was excited for her and fully supported her decision to move. Then it came time for her to leave. And I kept it to myself because I can't imagine how emotionally stressful it was for her to leave, but I was an emotional wreck everytime I thought about her being gone. What I've realized in the last few weeks is that I am not upset about her moving way. I am afraid that LIttle B won't know her the way he does now. (Excuse me a moment, crying break.)
Since this revelation I've opened my eyes and looked around. There is no way for him not to stay connected to her. Her presence is everywhere in our house. From the artwork in his room, a craft project that she rescued me from, to his first halloween, another craft project she rescued me from, to his current favorite collection of books from Mo Willems, to the blueberry bushes that are growing in our backyard, both gifts from her.
While he may not run to her when she visits, he will always know who she is because we talk about "Gigi" often. We read Gigi's books, and we water Gigi's blueberry bushes together.
I've watched over the past few months a few people who are important to our little family but don't see all that frequently become hurt when Little B isn't as excited to see them as they are to see him. (A feeling I have myself when it comes to bedtime and he cries for Daddy.)
I struggle as a mother how to balance these interactions. Not wanting to put pressure on my young child to hug people he is not quite sure of, and not wanting to hurt the feelings of people who are important to us. Are their feelings really hurt or is it my own sensitivity to the situation?
I know that my young nieces are now old enough to remeber me from visit to visit and that they enjoy video chatting with us on the computer. I know in my brain that in a few years the distance will melt, but right now it is super hard.
The most selfish part of this situation is that my family lives within miles of us, and my husband's family is scattered all over the country. It has taken this situation for me to realize how hard it must be for him to not have Little B know his family the way he knows mine.
How do you handle long distance family and your little ones? I'd love some ideas!
Can someone send some more tissues my way. And maybe send some to Cali while you're at it.