I grew up very close to my mom's extended family. My mom has 3 sisters and 1 brother, and they all still live on the same street as each other. My grandparents live there too. My parents even live in the house where my mom grew up; they bought it from my grandparents when I was 10.
My mom has always been close to all of her siblings, and they were always around, so their kids were too. Some of my cousins are more like siblings than cousins to me. I feel fortunate that I have such a great extended family, and I could as easily call my aunts for advice as I could call my own mom.
Even though I had this great example of sibling closeness, I knew that I wasn't going to stick around the town where I grew up. Once I graduated high school, I was OUTTA THERE!! I went to college in the "big city" (Madison) a few hours away, and I've stayed in this area ever since. I had the typical small town teen angst, and I didn't realize at the time that I had a pretty cool, unique experience.
At this point in my life, I don't see myself ever moving back. I am very happy with my life here. This is where I'm meant to be. Sometimes it makes me sad though. Evie will never live down the street from her cousins. She won't have pajama pizza parties at her aunt's house or go to swimming lessons jammed in the backseat of the car with 5 other kids. (That's right...two kids to a seat belt! You'd probably be arrested for doing that nowadays! Lol!!) She won't know what it's like to be annoyed by more people than just her siblings, or to have her aunt meddling in her business. (That was totally warranted too...I was a mischievous teenager for a while...)
One of my sisters and her husband moved to a town about 15 minutes from our house last summer. I was so excited to have family close by again, but her husband recently took another job closer to my parents, and she will be moving there once the school year is done. (She is also a teacher...and she's also the pregnant one.) It's their choice and I'm understand why they want to be closer to our extended family with a baby on the way, but some days I can't get over how much it hurts that she's moving away from me again.
I just want Evie to know that she has the big extended network of people who love her, the way that I always knew that I did (even when I hated that I did). They are still there, just a 3 hour car trip away. Maybe I need to tell myself that, as much as I need her to know that too.