We used to live away from our families (about 2 hours). Now we live back in the town that both my husband and I grew up in -- and in very close proximity to our families. I have loved both experiences, but today I wanted to share my reasons for loving living close, and hear from you the things you love about your proximity to family.
Note: Let's keep this a positive forum. Think of this as a Thankful Thursday in disguise -- there are always positives to every situation, even if the most prominent aspects are less than positive. So, think happy thoughts about your location and the benefits of your family being in that location right now -- happy thoughts about you and your in-laws and the whole family shebang. :)
Here are the top 3 things I love about being close to family:
Always having a babysitter. Yup, this is definitely number one... is that so terrible? :) Between having both grandmas (and grandpas) and two single aunts, plus another aunt and cousins, in town, my son has never had a non-family babysitter. I'm not opposed to taking it outside the family... but family is free and awesome and there's always someone available! I'm so spoiled :)
Developing relationships. See, I'm not completely terrible and selfish when it comes to family. :) We spent the first 2.5 years of our marriage at college about 2 hours away from our hometown, which was so very good for our fledgling marriage and developing our husband-wife relationship, but the distance didn't do much for other extended family relationships. Being close makes it so much easier to further relationships because you can get in both more time together and have more personal experiences together -- a nice meeting of both quantity and quality.
In the 2 years since we've lived close, my relationship with both my family and my in-laws has grown leaps and bounds... and I love it! Plus, my son (and impending daughter) have a great natural environment for developing close relationships with grandparents and cousins because...
Everyone comes to visit the parents! And we benefit because that means we get to see them too, without having to make a long drive. Especially in my large family (8 kids), we tend to congregate at my parents' house several times a year. We used to have to make shorter trips and sometimes miss the get-togethers, but now that we live close, we are in on all the family action!
Oh, and one runner-up: the can I borrow that? benefit. We have been doing yardwork and car maintenance and between our dads, they've got everything we need. :) Our moms are also great for my crafty borrowing -- thread and patterns and all that.
So, now you tell me... what do you love most about your current family proximity situation? (and is that the most awkward way to word that question or what? :)