SAN to SEA

 

Plane ride. Thinking mode.

My little one has talked incessantly about how excited she is to see her daddy. I could have stayed another full month in San Diego were it not for my little chatterbox.

Its not that I dont miss my husband — I do. Its that I miss being close to my family. Spending this much time with my sister is just a painful reminder of how unnatural it is to be so far away.

One of the unfortunate by-products of a developed country like the United States is that because anyone can be anything — it also means that anyone can live anywhere.

My mothers family in the Philippines all (mostly) live on the same street they grew up on. My uncle lives in the house she lived in as a child, on the same plot of land her mother lived on as a girl, and the same neighborhood my nieces and nephews will probably live on forever. My fathers sister, her children, his brothers children, and my grandparents all live in the same village that their family has lived in for four generations. Yes…village.

We were built to live together. To live near one another. To share the responsibility of raising our children, feeding our families, supporting one another's lives. It's who are. Our cultural history defines family and community as the same. This may seem strange — and go against every idea of what it is to be independent and American — but for me, it's a quality I will gladly exchange for my Filipina side.

While our American classmates grew into adolescence complaining of how they couldnt wait to get out of their parents home, it never even occurred to me. To leave the small town I grew up in? Definitely. But to be away from my parents and my sisters? It's not something I ever wished for.

And here we are, living in different states. Raising our children, (who are only a few years apart) on FaceTime & Skype playdates. Visiting with their grandparents over daily phone calls and computer screens.

Certainly our parents didn't decide to leave their own families on the other side of the world when they were starting out forty years ago — just so they could raise children who lived half a day of plane travel away from each other? I can't imagine that this is the future that they pictured for themselves or for us.

*sadness*

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