We spend roughly the first 18 years of our lives living with our parents and siblings. They are apart of almost every major moment in your life. Holiday cheer is embraced together, you build each other up and occasionally dabble in sibling rivalry. Suddenly, you are an adult and are slowly starting to have more distance between you and your family.
This is such a weird phenomenon to me. After years spent with my family, I quickly find myself living a completely different life than my parents and siblings.
I grew up in a military family. We usually did not live near family and friend frequently moved away. In a way, I feel like that lifestyle prepared me for the changes that were to come in adulthood. However, I do not think it is something that ever truly clicked in my brain. I mean, my extended family being states away was the norm for us growing up but, I never imagined that would be the same with my siblings and parents. There really are no words to describe watching your family live life states away. I have learned that not living together takes a lot more effort to have a healthy relationship with my family.
As I reflect upon this concept this holiday season, I cannot help but think of my son. The past year and a half have flown by. He does not have the luxury of living near his extended family. However, we do the privilege of video chat. Although this makes things a lot easier, I cannot help but think of how I will feel when my son does not live at home.
I imagine that I will be filled with conflicting emotions and thoughts. As a parent, I know that I will be proud of my son. I will be happy that he is self-sufficient. I will encourage him to follow his dreams and heart, even if that puts a lot of miles between us. I know that I will also be sad that I do not get to spend as much time with him as I would like.
Honestly, I do not believe that there is anything that can fully prepare you for not living with your immediate family. I was lucky that my family was able to get to know my husband before we got engaged. However, as the years go on, I know that I will now be as lucky with my siblings and significant others.
Life is weird. We go from living in the same household as somebody to barely seeing them. How do you cope with this? I know that I try to be involved with my family as much as possible. Also, I hold onto every moment with my son that I can. After all, one day the tables will be flipped and I will be seeing this through a parent’s eye rather than a child’s eye.