We had a great visit with my brother this week.
It really saddens me that he lives so far away (San Diego), but fortunately I have a very travel-willing family and Bo has gotten to meet everyone in his immediate extended family now.
We had such a great week visiting with Uncle Mike (and my momma, who came to help!) I've seen my brother be so hands on and helpful with our younger cousins and cousin's kids throughout the years, and he didn't miss a beat when it came to getting to know his new little nephew. In fact, one of the best advantages of him being a night owl stuck on pacific coast time was his willingness to take on the 2 am feeding so I got a little extra sleep. Woohoo!
Bo also went on his first road trip while Mike was visiting. We have two cousins who live in Charlotte who we were very close with growing up in Rochester, but rarely get to see anymore with everyone going different directions at holidays. So on Friday, we headed down to Charlotte to have dinner with lots & lots of Claffeys. Good thing Bo is too little to know the chaos that ensues when our large, rambutcinous clan gets together - he happily slept in arms while people played pass the baby. We got to see my aunt & uncle (who live in Rochester but were down visiting), my cousin & her husband & their four kids and my other cousin & her fiancé. (As well as, of course, my sister and her husband.) On Sunday, my engaged cousin had her wedding shower so we saw 2 more aunts and another cousin who I literally have not seen in a DECADE. A decade, people.
My brother made the comment as we were driving back home from our weekend of family time how there's something sort of sad about the fact that families spread out so much these days. You know, it used to be that most people grew up and stayed in relative proximity to their hometowns and it meant entire families were in the same small town. Of course, there are downsides to this… my family, like any family, can drive each other absolutely bonkers and it's easy to romanticize the notion of everybody sharing one zip code. But there's something about having a small baby that makes you relish the feeling of community - the "all hands on deck" approach that seems to happen whenever there's a new tiny family member - and it does make me a little bit sad that my family (and many of my dearest friends) are so far flung and our get togethers are so infrequent. To see my one cousin for the first time in a decade - it's kind of crazy. The last time I saw her she was a ten year old. Now she's getting ready to graduate college, and looking for jobs and is a beautiful, grown up articulate woman. (And, she also just so happens to be a bit of baby whisperer.)
I did try to take advantage of that conversation about far flung families to try and convince my brother to move to the Dash, but I don't think I was successful. San Diego over Winston-Salem? Weird, right? I guess until teleportation technology improves a little bit, we'll have to make do with frequent flyer miles and instagram photos and FaceTime to keep our villages close at hand.