10 240km is a long way. When I was 8 weeks old my parents left their country of birth and moved to Australia. They knew no one.
As a child this fact was just part of our family story and I didnt think too much about it. As a mother I have recently been giving it more thought. Two weeks before MiniMe was born we moved 9.5km down the road to be 0.8km from Aunt, 0.8km from SIL, 1.7km from Mum and 5.6km from MIL. Help was (and still is) always at hand.
I think back to when MiniMe was 8 weeks old and what it would have been like not to have my family and friends around. To pack up my life while recovering from child birth and move away from my support network. To enter motherhood for the first time is daunting. To move to a new country is daunting. My mother did both simultaneously.
They moved by choice. They moved for me and their children to come. I am very grateful to have been brought up in this country. Very grateful for the childhood they gave us.
The only thing I feel I missed out on was knowing my extended family. I have another 4 aunts and lots of cousins who mainly all still live close to each other overseas. The few times we visited when I was younger I was amazed at how I seemed to be related to so many people. Every time I met someone my Granny managed to find some familial relation.
This is why I feel so blessed that our girls are surrounded by their grandparents and cousins. I love the extra input they put into their lives and seeing the great relationships they already have with them. And I love seeing the delight they can give someone else. I use to come back from work and Mum would give me a run down on everything 6 month old MiniMe had done that day as if MiniMe had performed swan lake at the opera house. Delight.
Swings and treats from Gramps are a great hit.
Mardi is close at hand with a brush to keep their hair in line (something I am at a lose with). Goofy asked the other day when Mardi was coming over to do our ironing as the the basket was getting quite full! She looks after us all very well in many different ways.
Things that are broken are left for Pa because 'he can fix anything'.
SIL and BIL will be able to teach our girls things that are not our strong points but are theirs which I am thankful for. They have children the same age as ours (within a few weeks mostly) and they are our children's best buddies. There is many an imaginary phone conversation with them as they play pretend.
The A-team (my brother and his wife) will also have much to teach our girls and give them valuable insight into what it means to be full time ministers of the gospel. I hope our girls will also learn how to look after their younger cousins, however many there end up being!!
My Aunt and Uncle are two of the most generous people I know. We have had to buy very little for our girls thanks mainly to them. I am glad they moved here too as they are great people too.
One day soon I am sure my two cousins will be babysitters!
As U2 likes to say - 'I love us!".