If I could live anywhere, where would I live?
This is one of those questions that, even ten years ago, would have been pretty easy for me to answer. Back then, I probably would have said something about traveling and not staying in one place for very long, about wanting to see many different cultures and lifestyles, about wanting to know what all my options were before settling down to buy a home and become part of a particular community.
That is a pre-mamahood answer, for sure. Now, even though I still have the occasional travel bug and desire to explore distant lands, the greatest factor in my desired location is the proximity it provides to family.
I spent the majority of my twenties consciously and unconsciously putting a distance between myself and my family. I suppose it was part of what I needed to do, to figure out my own direction and feel like I was making my own decisions.
Then, in my very early thirties, I returned home, at first more out of need than out of want. Since that time, and especially since becoming a mother, I've re-realized the incredible value of family, and the value of being physically close to our family. Seeing Emmy build relationships with our extended family members, through frequent visits and communication, has been one of the best parts of parenting, and one I wouldn't trade, even for an exciting trip around the world.