When you raise your daughter away from family, you’re suddenly reminded of how far away the distance is. A plane ride is no longer “just a plane ride”, and six months is no longer “just six months”.
When you raise your daughter away from family, you take advantage of the family you do have. Dinner with in-laws become intentional, and visits with cuddles become routine. Friends become your sisters and other mamas become your cheerleaders, texting you encouragement as you need.
When you raise your daughter away from family, you call them first, as soon as she arrives. You skype over slow internet and text never-ending photos until you’ve maxed out their monthly limit. Until they know exactly what she looks like.
When you raise your daughter away from family, you plan her baptism around their visit, and your brother comes along as a surprise. They never want to put her down, and you can’t stop smiling, because you’re sharing these moments. Together. As a family.
And when you raise your daughter away from family, both mothers shed good-bye tears, knowing it could be months until she holds her again. And you feel guilty, because you chose this. And yet you know, this is where you’re meant to be.
Because it is.
So when you raise your daughter away from family, you promise to tell her stories about growing up. About the favourite tire swing you used to sit on. About the way her Grandpa snores when he takes a Sunday nap. About the blanket her Beppe sewed especially for her. About the way the house smells like Christmas baking in winter and grass and sunshine in summer. About her cousins’ contagious giggles and uncles’ nonstop tickles… About how there are so many wonderful people out there praying for her, loving her, and storing up hugs for her.
Because when you raise your daughter away from family, some days are hard. You miss your mom’s hugs, and your dad’s jokes. You wish you could make more memories in person than on facetime calls.
But you know that, when you raise your daughter away from family, you won’t take your time together for granted.
And you thank God, that there’s a family to miss at all.