Once upon a time there was never a chance to miss the people you loved. You grew up in tight knit clusters of kinship, where are the branches of the family tree were inextricably intertwined. Parents, grandparents, children, siblings, cousins – hell, even cousins two and three times removed – all remained together in the one town (sometimes all under the one roof!) growing old as one, as time crept by.
These days, sadly, not so much. And what makes all the more heartbreakingly hard is trying to explain this fact to my 3.5 year old son, who seems to expect me to be able to magic up a grandparent on demand, or produce a cousin at his behest.
Often the only answer I can give him is “me too buddy, me too”.
Because truthfully, I do feel the exact same way. I still fight the fits of fantasy that do battle with the logical part of my brain, one side petulantly lamenting the fact that everyone I love most in this world isnt living within the same community confines as well, while the other rationalises that in the age in which we live, I’m lucky we arent even more far flung than we are. I only have to look to my brother-in-law, whose kin are all 11,000 kms away to feel more than a little silly. (Note to self, being in the same country is something to be thankful for!)
But still, trying to get a child to understand that his request for Nanny & Poppy come and play for the day, or that Grandma & Grandpa collect him from school when it is impossible to produce on demand is tough. His cousins too, all of which he simply adores, are often the reason behind his missing malaise. On a daily basis almost I will be asked if we can go to their house – and I wish we all my heart we could do just that.
The older I get, the more sentimental I seem to be. I look back and recall I’ve survived much worse constraints of distance – as a younger lass living it up on the other side of the world for one! But now, not having those you held nearest and dearest a short stroll or drive away splinters at my soul. Especially when I know how much Master H wants the same as me.
I hate missing people, I hate goodbyes. And I dare say my blue eyed boy is already marching to the beat of my lonesome drum too.
Of course, the flipside is the appreciation you have for your family and dearest friends. Just like the age old platitude that is often trotted out to appease, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. As well, there is no chance to take for granted those you treasure, because each get together is cherished. I’ll just have to be sure I instil these values in my boy in the hope it hurts his little heart less.