Growing up in New Orleans, I had my fair share of aunts and uncles – blood related and honorary (or fake, as my non-NOLA raised husband calls it). We had aunts and uncles a mile away, we had aunts and uncles 200 miles away. But one thing is for sure, they were close to us, and we spent a lot of time together.
My parents’ siblings made sure we spent time together regularly. As a child, I just thought hanging out with cousins and family was something all families did. As I’ve grown up and started my own family, I realize those times are times are rare and meant to be cherished.
I never thought I’d be the aunt 130 miles away.
When I envisioned my adult family life, it was similar to my childhood. Sunday lunch after church with a house full of family, mid-week visits, bleachers full of family cheering on my kid.
Fast forward. I’m that aunt. I’m the aunt 130 miles away from my family in New Orleans. I’m the aunt that drives back and forth on the same day to not miss a birth, a birthday party or a baptism.
I’m also the aunt not in the bleachers (I’ve managed to attend a few games) or there for Sunday dinners. Thankfully, I don’t miss a lot, but at the same time, I miss them an awful lot.
This past weekend I went to New Orleans simply because I missed my nephews. It had been two months since I had seen them. Summers are busy in my profession, and well, life is busy in general. But two months was too much. Even with FaceTime in between, and keeping up on social media, my heart was aching.
I kissed them as many times as I could. I hugged them as much as they would let me. I don’t think it will be two more months until I see them, but life happens.
I never thought I’d be the aunt that wasn’t there. 130 miles isn’t very far, but most days, it’s entirely too far.