Wednesday, September 12, 2007

long distance dedication

andi over at poot and cubby made me remember how much i miss my sister.

damn her.

it is difficult to live across the country from your family. it's hard to know that your children won't spend much time with their aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents. it's especially difficult if you grew up with an extended family that had get-togethers for every birthday/wedding/baptism/random reason. my generation has 16 cousins on my mom's side. even though our ages span some 17 years, we spent a lot of time together. it was great fun, and i'm sure very comforting to my parents to know that there were a whole host of people to watch over us if they were occupied, say, playing poker and drinking beer.

but being away from your sister, who was practically the focus of your whole childhood, is especially difficult. it separates you from a source of wisdom, joy, help, a shoulder to cry on, someone to pig out on ice cream with, to send you on a guilt trip, to welcome you home when it's over.

it's my fault, i suppose. i'm the one who moved away from our last common state of residence. (but, seriously, since she was always all about taking care of her baby sister, why didn't she follow me?)

this distance separates not only two sisters, but aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

i was there when my nephew was born. i spent nearly his entire first 3 months with him. at this time i was already living up north for the school year and summering in florida. the next summer, when my first niece was born, i again spent most of my vacation with them. the next niece was born during the school year, so i didn't see her until she was almost a year old (and by that time i needed a job during the summer.) my exposure to those kids has decreased every year since. i want to know them, but they're already teenagers. i wasn't very good at being a teenager myself, i sure as hell don't know how to relate to one now. since i am the 'good sister', i mostly spend our conversations asking how school is going, and reminding them to be responsible. how boring is that? who wants an aunt like that?

on the flip side, my sister is the fun aunt. she gets silly. she gets on the floor and wrestles and tickles. she doesn't see my girls any more often than i see her kids, but she definitely makes the most of it.

hopefully, we will soon get our finances in order and we can take advantage of the low airfares you can sometimes find on short notice. i want to see a lot more of my sister again. and i want my girls to see her, too. we have such a good time together, when she's not torturing me.