I am no longer a Geographical Orphan.
I may have mentioned that my parents moved here to the area (35 min. away) this summer. We haven't lived in the same state as either set of parents since we were married. Our kids have never had grandparents that live close. We are loving it.
I grew up in a military family. My dad is from the west coast and my mom is from the east. We never lived very close to our extended family. I always thought that that's just what happened when you grew up - you moved away. I'm still surprised at how many people I meet who live where they grew up. I can't imagine it.
I notice this especially when I have to find someone to watch my kids. I'll offer to watch theirs in return, but they'll say "No big deal, I just take them to my mom's when I need to." It's gotten progressively harder to find people to watch Thomas - he is a real handful and you have to watch him very closely. Plus, most people can't understand what he's saying, and I'm sure that is frustrating for him. The other day Aaron and I were talking about how we don't really trust teenagers to babysit anymore (not like we've bothered to hire them very often) - they just don't understand how close you have to watch Thomas. And our climbing Monkey.
Now I have my mom nearby! She comes up at least once a week to help out - and we usually go to her house once a week, too. The kids LOVE getting to see Grandma and Grandpa - and I am loving the help! The kids still give her huge "GRANDMA!!!" welcomes - maybe this will wear off with time, but it's all so happy for everyone. I've even had a few mom-rescues already. When our washing machine broke I had a place to go take my laundry. Mom came up super-early in the morning to watch the other two while I took Thomas to his appointment last week. We have a place to go for occasional Sunday Night Dinners. Mom has taken the kids overnight TWICE already! The kids LOVE going to "Gwama's Hou" (Thomas) - and I love having somewhere to go where the kids are happy, safe, and can take their naps there!
It's pretty cool.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.
**p.s. - I feel I have to add that we have been so lucky in having volunteer grandparents. There are several people in our neighborhood who love our kids and our kids LOVE them. They have been generous with their time and their hugs, and I'm grateful for that.**