I can't imagine not having the help and love and support of my family. I see some member of my family almost every day and Smug-Baby knows everyone and it is her routine to ask about what they are doing each morning when she wakes up and she needs to hear that "Pa" is sleeping and "Flo-f" is sleeping before she herself will settle into her nighttime rest. She asks who of the people she loves we are going to see whenever we leave the house and asks about them periodically throughout the day. She knows and loves my family and is so excited to see them when someone drops by the house.
As for me, my Mother was there to help me with nursing in the beginning and helps guide me in areas of nursing, nutrition and illness. My sister is my go-to on parenting since she had my nephew 9 years ago, she has been through most things and since she is currently dealing with almost the same developmental issues with Smug-Niece we talk daily on how best to parent our little ones. My dad and step-mom live the closest and we have become more friends than parent/child and we hang out with them weekly if not more. Since they only live 2 minutes away, dropping by for a quick 10 minute visit to get some hugs happens a lot. Smug-Baby is very close to them and runs like the wind when they come up the stairs and cries when they leave.
What if we didn't have that? What would her life, our lives, be without such wonderful, loving and supportive family close by? Smug-Hub's family lives very far away and they don't get to have the same kind of relationship with Smug-Baby as mine does. They visit for short periods of time, infrequently and it breaks my heart that in a time where air travel is possible, the cost really does keep families apart! I hate the the price of a plane ticket is the only thing that keeps Smug-Baby's other family from seeing her more!
I checked into tickets to fly to see them around the first of the year (not even for Christmas) and they are over $600 each!!! After February, when Smug-Baby is two, the airlines require her to have her own ticket - that will be $1,800 to fly to see family!! When Little-Smug arrives, it will just be too hard for us to travel, so that will mean that family will have to come to us. Smug-Hub has 3 brothers and his mother, so they are looking at a combined expense of $2,400 to come to see us!! I don't know anyone who has that kind of money and can just fly here to see us more than once every few years!!
I am broken-hearted that Smug-Baby and Little-Smug will not have the same kind of relationship with that side her family as she has with those close by, but I am beyond grateful that she has the chance to have a close relationship with the ones she can. I never was close to either set of my grandparents and while I loved them, I didn't really know them and I feel sorry that Smug-Baby and Little-Smug may feel like that about her other Grandmother and her Uncles. I have to get them a web-cam! That's all there is too it!!! Childhood is too short...