For the past ten years, my sister and her family have lived overseas. It’s taken us every bit of those ten years to get used to the distance. I remember, at one point, thinking it was odd that I wasn’t familiar with my sister’s wardrobe. It’s a minor thing, but part of the transition that happens when you live closely with someone for two decades and then you don’t. You know those brown shorts? The ones I wear with that striped t-shirt? No, no I don’t.
There’s a lot to get used to — timezones, Skype dates, years between visits, jet-lag, becoming reacquainted, saying goodbye. Eventually, slowly, reluctantly, we got used to it.
This past year they’ve lived much, much closer. And, well, it’s amazing how quickly you can get used to something that’s so comfortable.
We had a full year of holidays and birthdays, an epic cousins camping trip, and wonderful just because visits. For the first time since I’ve owned a phone with texting capabilities, I’ve had the luxury of sending a text message to my sister.
We are saying goodbye again. They’re moving — not quite so far this time — but still much too far for a day trip.
Once again we enter the familiar, uncomfortable routine of saying goodbye, we’ll see you soon, but not soon enough, don’t grow up too much, little ones, we’ll miss you. We love you so very much.